The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference has something fresh planned for its forthcoming conference in Chicago, which takes place on September 13–14. Benzinga will recognize Cannabis Business reporters as part of a celebration of people, businesses, and organizations accomplishing remarkable things in the cannabis industry.
Meet the Nominees for the Best Cannabis Business Reporters, in no particular order.
Yeji Lee, Business Insider
Yeji Jesse Lee is a healthcare reporter at Insider, covering the neuroscience, mental health, and psychedelics industries. Lee is focused on uncovering and explaining the future of treatments for mental health and other brain disorders, from depression and PTSD to addiction and traumatic brain injury. She previously covered the cannabis industry at Insider and has worked at The Globe and Mail and Newsday. Currently, she covers the investors, startups, and public companies working to develop treatments for neurological disorders and writes about the trials, trends, and research shaping the space.
Will Yakowicz, Forbes
Will Yakowicz is a staff writer and editor on the vices beat, covering cannabis, gambling, and more. He believes in the many virtues of vices. Previously at Forbes, Yakowicz covered the world’s richest people as a member of the wealth team. He has been a staff writer at Inc. magazine where he wrote about entrepreneurs doing business in the legal fringes of society. Before that, he reported stories that took him to the West Bank, Moscow, and Brooklyn.
Jeremy Berke, Business Insider
Jeremy is a senior reporter at Insider where he focuses on the cannabis industry. He has covered the bumpy rollout of Canada's cannabis legalization, the boom in cannabis companies going public (and the resulting fallout), multibillion-dollar mergers between cannabis companies and corporations from other industries, the ongoing health effects from vaporizers, the mislabeling of CBD products, and how the world's largest financial, legal, and political institutions are reacting to and planning for legalization. He is a sought-after expert on cannabis business and policy, frequently speaking to the media and at industry conferences.
Shadd Dales, The Dales Report
Shadd Dales is the Founder and President of The Dales Report and has an extensive background in the business media industry. His work translates into over 15 years in mainstream media that including roles with BNN Bloomberg, CTV Properties, and the iHeart Radio Network. Shadd is considered one of the leading on-air talents in both the cannabis and psychedelic space and has interviewed some of the most notable CEO names in the industry. Shadd’s vision is to establish a content platform that is equivalent to a mainstream broadcast produced in a format that is relevant to today’s investors.
Sara Brittany Somerset, Various
Somerset is a United Nations-based cannabis correspondent and global drug policy analyst. Her work has been syndicated worldwide in various media outlets from The New York Times to High Times. She was formerly U.N. Bureau Chief for the latter. As a foreign correspondent, Somerset covered cannabis during the blood diamond wars in Sierra Leone. In 2018, she received an AxisWire Star Media Award for Best Freelance Cannabis Writer. In 2020, she was listed on Green Market Report's 100 Most Important Women In Weed. As a public speaker, she has appeared at the Cannabis Media Summit, CannaTech, Collision, Pot or Not, World Cannabis Congress, the Green Market Summit, CWCBE, NCIA, iC3, cLAB, entOURage, and Cannabis Europa.
Dan Adams, Boston Globe
Dan Adams is a cannabis reporter and author of the “This Week in Weed” newsletter — the irreverent and definitive insider’s diary of legalization in Massachusetts. A graduate of Emerson College who first joined the Globe in 2011, Dan previously covered breaking news, municipal politics, business, and the alcohol industry. He was named the Globe’s first-ever dedicated cannabis reporter in 2017, and in 2019 joined the Spotlight Team for a series on the marijuana business. He has moderated numerous panels, served as a speaker and emcee at national conferences, and regularly appears on public radio and network television.
Jackie Bryant, San Diego Magazine
Jackie is a San Diego-based journalist and the managing editor of San Diego Magazine. Her freelance work is concentrated on the cannabis business and culture but also spans travel, food, wine, spirits, arts/culture, and organized labor. In addition to her cannabis culture newsletter, Cannabitch, which was previously a weekly column in the now-defunct San Diego CityBeat, she has written about all aspects of the ongoing legalization and professionalization of the cannabis industry and its culture for MJBizDaily, Voice of San Diego, San Francisco Chronicle, Leafly, California Leaf, Different Leaf, High Times, Sierra, Playboy, Cannabis Now, Healthline, Uproxx, SF Gate, and Forbes.
Amanda Siebert, Various
Siebert is a contributing writer at Forbes, and Leafly, as well as the co-founder and editor-in-chief at Inside the Jar, an independent publication focused on drug culture in Canada and the United States. Her first book, “The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life”, was published by Greystones Books in 2018 on the same day cannabis was legalized in Canada. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Vice, Leafly, The Dales Report, Calgary Herald, The Georgia Straight, and CannCentral.
Tauhid Chappell, The Free Press
Tauhid is a project manager for Free Press’ News Voices project, focusing on the program’s Philadelphia initiative to reimagine how the city’s local newsrooms approach their coverage of crime, violence, and the criminal justice and carceral systems. An eight-year veteran of the media industry, he most recently worked as a social media editor at The Washington Post before joining The Philadelphia Inquirer as an engagement editor, where he analyzed reader behavior on search, social and digital platforms. Tauhid is also an executive board member and parliamentarian of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, the first and oldest association of Black journalists in the country, and the founding chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Sam Wood, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sam Wood is an award-winning journalist who has covered the business of cannabis, law, and emerging technologies for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Most recently as a health reporter, he covered the region’s opioid crisis, wrote extensively about heroin in Kensington, and built a fortnightly review of city restaurant inspections into one of Philly.com’s most popular features. Previously, his series on police-involved shootings prompted a Department of Justice review of the Philadelphia police department. He was also the Inquirer’s first social media editor.
Matt Lamers, Marijuana Business Daily
Matt Lamers is a reporter and international editor at Marijuana Business Daily whose work has been seen in Cayman Compass, Green Entrepreneur, Alaska Highway News, Hemp Industry Daily, Pipeline News North, Miami Standard, and Savvyherb.
Andre Bourque, Various
Andre Bourque is a cannabis industry connector, brand advisor, contributing writer, and the Vice President of Business Development for Verdantis Advisors, a full-service cannabis consulting agency. Verdantis specializes in cannabis industry investments, mergers and acquisitions, funding, partnerships, marketing, and media. Andre is the managing director of the cannabis division of Miramar Brands, a legacy full-service licensing agency representing Elle Magazine, Target, Kohl's, Spalding, and other leading brands. In addition to Forbes, Andre’s articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Benzinga, Yahoo Finance, Ebony, CIO Magazine, ComputerWorld, and Social Media Today.
A.J. Herrington, Forbes
A.J has spent the last several years covering cannabis and hemp news, business, and culture, with more than 1,000 print and digital articles published in the genre. His work has been seen in some of the most recognizable mastheads in the business, including High Times, Merry Jane, Cannabis Now, Sensi, and HEMP. He has documented stories about legalization and the cannabis industry in his home state of California, the nation’s largest legal marijuana market. Herrington has had a personal relationship with the plant for much of his life, including years spent puttering in the garden. He is also a graduate of Oaksterdam University, the original cannabis college, and was selected as cultivation program class valedictorian.
Mehka King, Leafly
Mehka King has spent his professional career as a journalist and content creator. Since 2017, he has interviewed cannabis activists, politicians, business leaders, athletes, and entertainers about their views on cannabis for the CashColorCannabis.com network.
Ruby Deevoy, Various
Ruby Deevoy is a freelance journalist with expertise in CBD, natural health, and wellbeing. She has been writing about natural health for 10 years and had her work featured in many magazines and papers across the world, including Natural Health, Top Sante, Breathe, Stylist, Elle, Daily Mail Good Health, The Independent, The Express, and The Mirror.
Solomon Israel, Marijuana Business Daily
Solomon Israel is a reporter at Marijuana Business Daily, whose work has been seen in Winnipeg Free Press, and CBC News. He’s covered Canada’s plan to police cannabis-impaired drivers, investigated how pot dealers and politicians regard the new legalization policies, and looked into how Manitoba may model its plan after Ontario’s. Israel, who grew up in Newton, Mass., and completed his masters of journalism at Carleton University in 2011, also interned at the Jerusalem Post, before working as a TV news producer on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange.
Josiah Hesse, Various
Josiah is a freelance journalist in Denver, Colorado. He writes about politics, marijuana, and evangelical culture and theology, and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and Vice. He’s also had bylines in Politico, High Times, and The Denver Post, and is the senior editor of the Denver arts and literature magazine Suspect Press.
Come and meet these amazing journalists in person at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Sept. 13-14 in Chicago. And stay with us at the historic Palmer House Hotel where you'll rub shoulders with a slew of cannabis industry leaders and innovators at the world’s largest and most successful cannabis investing and finance event.
Photo: Alesia Kozik and Andrea Piacquadio by Pexels