"This Strawberry Cough gets five Ns, that's for sure."
We don’t often promote job listings on behalf of our friends at Now magazine. But in this case, we’ll make an exception.
The fact that there is a local journalism job—even a freelance one—now constitutes news. It is especially encouraging that Now, which faced the possibility of folding in late July and ongoing labour negotiations, is looking to hire someone.
The subject matter is especially interesting because rather than traditional beats like politics or culture, Now is looking for something more unique. They want a marijuana specialist.
Is that you?
The alt-weekly is looking for a “freelance writer to tackle Canada’s rapidly changing marijuana laws, industry, and culture.” You see, it’s the Wild West of weed out there and that means there are stories to be found. And, more importantly, there is money to be made.
While the marijuana writer position is new to Toronto, it’s been tried elsewhere. In 2013, the Denver Post hired a marijuana editor, Ricardo Baca. In 2015, the Oregonian followed suit and added a freelance writer. There are other niche journalism jobs out there: Time, in its effort to be relevant online, hired a beat writer dedicated to bacon earlier this year. The Texas Monthly hired a barbecue editor because Texas loves its barbecue.
It is no big secret why Now would try out this new position: advertising.
While the publication’s lifeblood since the mid-80s has been its back-of-book sex work ads, a declining ad market and possible legal difficulties make that model increasingly untenable. But the burgeoning marijuana industry needs a place to advertise, and Now, which published its weed issue in April, seems like a natural place to do so.
It is unclear whether or not pot can turn around the fortunes at North America’s largest alt-weekly, but at least the office freebies will be a lot more interesting.
If you feel like you have the expertise to be Now‘s marijuana writer, you can apply here.