Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

March 23, 2010
Marijuana a growth industry for California mag publishers

Thumbnail image for Grow.JPGAmid slick pages and artsy, up-close photography of flowering marijuana buds, Humboldt Grow magazine raises some serious questions.

Writer-photographer Kym Kemp examines domestic violence amongst a male-dominated pot-growing culture. Another piece asks whether cultivators want their children to grow up in the family trade.

Founded in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, the bi-monthly magazine of editor and publisher Eric Sligh is among emerging mags proving that print isn't dead - at least when it comes to covering Golden State weed.

In Los Angeles, Kush, "Southern California's premier cannabis lifestyle magazine," is jammed with ads for marijuana dispensaries. The pot publishing network of Michael Lerner includes a magazine in Colorado and dailybuds.com, a social network he bills as "the Facebook of medical marijuana." He is also talking up a dating service "so people who smoke it can date people who smoke it."

Sligh, a frequent journalists' tour guide to California's north coast marijuana harvests, has since moved to West Hollywood. He says his mag, known as Grow, is close to breaking even.

Thumbnail image for Kush-2.JPGLerner, an activist-publisher, is bullish on the pot economy. "I think thousands of jobs are being created in the industry overnight," he said at a recent medical marijuana conference.

Sligh is an advocate for legalization, but insists on reporting on some excesses of the business. Past issues have covered diesel fuel spills and other environmental issues from indoor pot growing.

Both mags celebrate California weed.

Grow recently reported on a Northern California harvest featuring "a massive landing of Sour Diesel and Afgooey," two "psychedelic sativas" that are "absolute favorites."

The monthly "strain review" in Kush currently features Blue Dream, a choice weed among SoCal users it describes as a blend of "copius red red hairs and crystals" that "makes you feel like you're up in the clouds."

A page-turner for sure.

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