Skip to main content

Covering Cannabis

About This Course

As laws around and attitudes toward cannabis change, so too should cannabis coverage. Indeed, stoner puns and Cheech and Chong references are slowly giving way to exemplary cannabis stories from newsrooms across the country that are, one by one, confronting the complexities of legalization.

The cannabis beat intersects with science, medicine, business, regulation, technology, agriculture, law, criminal justice and individual liberties. At a time when coverage of these issues is shaping public policy, journalists sometimes get it right — and sometimes get it wrong. The consequences are wide-ranging, from misinformed voters to poorly crafted laws gone unchecked.

Editors increasingly realize the value of covering the growing billion-dollar cannabis industry. And more journalists are on the cannabis beat than any other time, with legal cannabis in eight states and medical cannabis in more than half the country.

This guide to covering cannabis aims to establish a shared language and common journalistic standards to help the quality of coverage keep up with the quantity.

What I Will Learn?

  • Common terms relating to the cannabis industry
  • The discrepancies with regard to the legal patchwork in the United States
  • How cannabis intersects with a number of different beats
  • Reliable sources for data
  • Types of coverage journalists should avoid when dealing with cannabis
  • Storytelling opportunities for newsrooms

Who Should Take This Course?

Journalists and editors on the health, business, technology, agriculture or politics beats (and anyone interested in covering the booming cannabis industry).

Course Instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.