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What the Media Should Know About Covering Cannabis
Peter Cervieri

Given our relationship with parent company the Future Journalism Project, we thought it would be interesting to ask the people shaping the cannabis industry their views on news coverage of it.

It’s the cannabis industry’s turn to comment on the news industry.

In our first segment, Kenny Morrison, CEO, VCC Brands (formerly, Venice Cookie Company), an edibles and infused beverage company based in LA, comments his problems with the phrase “getting high”, often used by talking heads on news shows. 

Kenny Morrison on news coverage of the cannabis Industry.

One person’s definition of “getting high” is often different than that of the person they are talking to or the individual watching the segment on TV. To some it has positive connotations. To others negative. So it’s important to ask someone who casually throws the phrase around what exactly their personal definition is.

He also wants journalists to understand that CBD and THC, along with the many other actives in cannabis such as terpenoids and flavonoids, all have medicinal value.

After the 2013 CNN Sanjay Gupta segment titled “Weed”, in which he highlights cannabis’ ability to treat neurological disorders such as childhood epilepsy, specifically by using CBD rich strains (the poster child being Charlotte’s Web), many in the news industry position CBD as the “medicinal” molecule in cannabis and THC as the “recreational” molecule, which is factually inaccurate. 

Both are medicinal, and benefit from being taken together in what’s known as the entourage effect. Isolating one molecule is not necessarily as effective as taking whole plant medicine.

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