Following the overwhelming success of the April 20 Miami event, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference has something new in store for the September 13-14 Chicago conference. As part of celebrating the individuals, entrepreneurs and organizations doing great things in the cannabis industry, Benzinga honors Cannabis Lifestyle Reporter in that new context Benzinga Cannabis Awards.
Meet the Best Cannabis Lifestyle Reporter Candidates
12 cannabis lifestyle reporters who made it to the final round of the Benzinga Cannabis Awards. Check them out!
Katie Shapiro, Forbes
Katie is an Aspen-based freelance journalist known as “the world’s first marijuana-style writer” for her work at The Denver Post’s award-winning online vertical, Cannabist.
Since 2014, she has written about the evolution of the legal cannabis lifestyle in her weekly column, High Country, for the Aspen Times. Her vision for the industry has been featured in Adweek, The Business of Fashion, Cosmopolitan, Racked, Refinery29 and more.
She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder and produced the documentary Rolling Papers, which chronicles the historic first year of adult cannabis use in Colorado.
Reineisha Watson, Various Outlets
Florida-based journalist Reneisha Watson has covered cannabis for HighTimes, Miss Grass, The Emerald Magazine, Leafly, Farmer, and the Felon. Her writing has also appeared in Columbia Journalism Review, Blavity, Shine Text Advice, and Black Girl in Om.
In 2018, I attended the THREAD Storytelling Workshop at Yale University to learn and develop my skills. Her time at Yale inspired her to develop the High Times column “High Forks,” a series of profiles exploring the many reasons people fall in love with cannabis.
Her company, VIVRANT WORLD, is focused on helping brands reimagine how they feel about weed and joy. Through her work, she is able to work with brands on social campaigns and provide public relations services to rising cannabis brands and influencers.
Dante Jordan, Weedmaps News
Dante Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture, strains, products, education, and everything else related to the cannabis industry.
Dante teaches people about cannabis: what to buy, what/how to consume, why, and general FAQs for all levels of the early industry. He is Weedmaps, Leafly, Wikileaf, The Bluntness , Ganjapreneur, and many other cannabis news outlets. Additionally, Jordan worked at Leafly as an Associate Subject Matter Expert. Now he contributes to his Weedmaps.
Amanda Chicago Lewis, Various Outlets
Amanda Chicago Lewis writes on policy, science, economics, culture, criminal justice and public health. She has written for GQ, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, California Sunday, The Guardian, Carved, Vice, LA Review of Books, LA Weekly, and more.
She was also a story producer for MTV’s cannabis documentary. Additionally, she wrote a column for Rolling Stone magazine covering everything from pot her parties in California to the obstacles faced by cannabis business tribes.
Amanda was also a national reporter for BuzzFeed News. Since 2017, she has been in charge of Yale University’s annual Thread Her Workshop, a non-fiction storytelling program for adults.
Ashley Keenan, Leafly
Ashley Keenan is Leafly’s Canadian editor, freelance journalist, consultant and cannabis patient advocate. She uses her reporting and storytelling to educate, entertain, and empower those interested in cannabis, covering everything from industry news to health and beauty.
As a cannabis journalist, she creates critical lifestyle content with a focus on industry news, medical cannabis, and patient perspectives. She combines reporting and storytelling to reduce stigma around adult use and medical cannabis.
In addition to being a “woman in the weed”, she is also a patient who has benefited from medical cannabis for longer than she has been in the industry. We use our experience to normalize chronic diseases and medical cannabis.
Mary Jane Gibson, Various Outlets
Mary Jane is the former lifestyle, entertainment and culture editor of High Times, actress and author.
Mary Jane is a prominent female voice in the cannabis industry, traveling the world since 2007 tracking the legalization of medical marijuana, adult cannabis and CBD alongside important celebrities, brands and personalities. I am traveling. -Rated Weed+Grub podcast.
Her views on cannabis and world culture have been featured in numerous publications including Rolling Stone, Playboy and PBS. She has been called “one of her 15 most powerful women in the weed industry” by Complex magazine. She is a graduate of the Canadian National School of Drama.
Zak Sokol, Various Outlets
Zach Sokol is a writer, editor and founder of www.cashonly.studio. www.cashonly.studio is an ongoing series of interviews with interesting people on 420.
He works at Bullish Studio and is a co-editor of Sex Magazine. Previously, she was editor of VICE, where she was editor of MERRY JANE, and has written extensively for publications such as Playboy, Penthouse, iD, and Double-Blind.
Hernan Panesi, El Planteo
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hernan Panesi is a journalist specializing in youth culture. He has collaborated as a writer for Playboy, Billboard, Forbes, VICE, Benzinga, High Times and Yahoo.
In addition, Hernan is the author of numerous books such as “Porno Argento!, Historia del cine nacional Triple X;”. “Periodismo pop, Una puerta que se abre;” and “Rock en Español”. He also worked as a teacher at the Roxas Cultural Center in Argentina.
Pannessi’s perspective on cannabis and world culture has been written by Infotech, Rolling Stone, THC, Página/12, Weederia, El Chronista and many others.
Currently, Panessi is editor-in-chief of El Planteo, the most read cannabis media in the Spanish-speaking world.
Jimi Devine, LA Weekly
Jimi started cannabis journalism at age 19, helping students who lost financial aid to college due to drug convictions.
Since 2009, he’s been part of the California cannabis industry, which is how he joined one of the country’s oldest dispensaries, CBCB. Jimi has contributed to various media including Cannabis Now, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, The Hill, Chronicle of High He Education, GreenState.com and Marijuana.com.
Lindsey Bartlett, Forbes
Lindsey is an author, photographer, and social media editor who has documented the evolution of the cannabis industry over the past decade. Her career includes The Denver Post and her role in The Cannabist, the first cannabis publication founded by the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper.
Her reporting has led to industry focus for Marijuana Business Daily and Hemp Industry Daily, and led social media coverage for MJBizCon, the world’s largest cannabis business conference series. She has held writing, social media and editorial roles for Forbes and her Weedmaps.
John Capetta “High Times”
Vice President of Content at High Times, Jon spent more than a decade producing over 500 events, honing his ear for logistics and marketing expertise and talent before leaving New York in 2014.
Finding a niche in development strategy, John produced branded content for major products, provided front-page data analysis, provided Pulitzer Prize-winning news, and did several projects for the companies he worked for. Developed new business areas. And he still finds time to write great articles for the High Times.
Warren Bobrow, Various Outlets
Warren Bobrow, a recognized “cocktail whisperer” as a renowned American mixologist who makes THC shots of cannabis as the author of six books, including his celebrated release, The Craft Cocktail Compendium, in 2017. I am immersed in industry. He has written for Saveur Magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, Distiller, DrinkupNY, Forbes and many other national and international periodicals.
He has also contributed to the Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues and the Oxford Encyclopedia Edition: Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City. Also, Warren was nominated for the Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award in 2013. His books consistently lead overall sales.
Come meet these amazing people at Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference, North America’s premier cannabis investment conference, on September 13-14 at Chicago’s historic Palmer House Hotel.
Get your tickets here.
See you soon!
Photo: Alesia Kozik and Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels