Medicinal marijuana is legal in 14 states, and it's big business. Earlier this month the New York Times reported on the financial boom from medicinal marijuana ads in Colorado, citing our sister publication in Denver and Village Voice Media's COO, Scott Tobias:
"In Colorado, where people have likened the explosion of medical marijuana to the state's 19th-century gold rush, the market for ads and information about the drug has been especially strong. The Summer 2010 issue of [the Westword's] The Chronic-le, at 48 shiny pages, included features like "Toke of the Town," a summary of the latest marijuana-related news, and a roster of the nearly 250 stores in the Denver area that sell marijuana.
Mr. Tobias said that in Denver money from advertising for marijuana-related businesses has totaled 15 percent of the weekly [Denver] Westword's revenue this year and nearly 40 percent of its classified advertising revenue. A small, eighth-page display ad on one of the paper's glossy inside pages can cost $550.'"
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Last year the Westword even hired a marijuana critic, writing under the pseudonym "William Breathes," whose "Mile Highs and Lows" column is among the most popular in print and online.
Another byproduct of the Colorado pot-explosion: interesting product innovations. The latest "medible" to hit the market is Dixie Elixirs, a line of pot-laced carbonated beverages available in lemonade, sweet tea, pink lemonade, strawberry, orange, grape and root beer that "delivers the potency that patients want in a soothing, sparkling beverage."
Allegedly, carbonation increases the effect of the THC component in the drug, resulting in a potent high that can be achieved discreetly in public (even enjoyed at work). The company's website describes their product as "Colorado-grown to complement the 'Rocky Mountain lifestyle,'" a way of life that apparently now includes a lot of napping, Pink Floyd, and Seinfeld reruns.