Medical marijuana is said to do wonders for the people who use it to treat their illnesses. But it’s also apparently doing wonders for newspapers.
Legal aspects of the medical marijuana debate aside, ads for the drug are proving to be a boon for local publications in states where its use is sanctioned.
In states like Colorado, California and Montana where use of the drug for health purposes is legal, newspapers — particularly alternative weeklies — have rushed to woo marijuana providers. Many of these enterprises are flush with cash and eager to get the word out about their fledgling businesses.
“Medical marijuana has been a revenue blessing over and above what we anticipated,” said John Weiss, the founder and publisher of The Independent, a free weekly. “This wasn’t in our marketing plan a year ago, and now it is about 10 per cent of our paper’s revenue.”
It is hard to measure what share of the overall market they account for, but ads for medical marijuana providers and the businesses that have sprouted up to service them — tax lawyers, real estate agents, security specialists — have bulked up papers in large metropolitan news markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
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