Having said that, this week’s “Toke Signals” column in Seattle Weekly will be my last.
SW tells me they’re making a bunch of cutbacks — it really is a tough time for print journalism — and one of those cutbacks is, unfortunately, putting my medical marijuana dispensary review column, Toke Signals, “on hiatus.” The paper says they “can’t afford me” anymore.
This week’s column, about NW Cannabis Market, is the last (at least for awhile), SW editor Mark Baumgarten tells me.
“Toke Signals” was just the second marijuana dispensary review column in a major newspaper. The first was “Mile Highs and Lows,” in Denver Westword. At the time, in 2011, Westword and the Seattle Weekly were both owned by the same chain, Village Voice Media.
Since I had already worked for the SF Weekly (also then owned by Voice Media) and had in 2009 founded (and at that time ran) Voice Media’s cannabis site, Toke of the Town, when Seattle Weekly decided to hire a marijuana reviewer, I was their first choice. I, of course, quickly accepted the job, even though I usually spent more each week buying samples than I was paid by the miserly bean-counters at Village Voice.
But I very much enjoyed visiting more than 150 MMJ access points in Washington over the past three-plus years! It has been my pleasure to discover that most of them are well run and help patients. And then there’s the rush of discovery… yeah, I mean sampling the widely varying but often intensely good products available.I appreciate the opportunity to share this important information with patients for 161 weeks — where to go, where to avoid, what’s available, who does it right and who needs to get their act together. It was a great run!
My last “Toke Signals” column in the Weekly covers the two locations of NW Cannabis Market — White Center and Galaxy. If you’re a Washington state medical marijuana patient, by the way, you owe it to yourself to experience these markets.
The reason dispensary ad revenue fell lately in the Weekly is that shops were uncertain what was going to happen in the Legislature; now that we’re relatively in the clear for at least another year, of course, they are ready to come out in the open again — so the paper is leaving a considerable amount of revenue on the table by nixing the column. Not the best decision when they’re already hurting.
If you’d like to email Mr. Baumgarten and let him know how much you’ve enjoyed “Toke Signals” reviews in the Weekly for the past three years, his email address is: