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Covering 4/20 for, East Bay Express ...

Yesterday I experimented with some live reporting, shooting two videos for that went into a daily dispatch about a major happening on the grassroots holiday.The day before we published a Vox Populi type piece on the meaning of 4/20.I'll have a wrap-up on 4/20 for the East Bay Express in print Wednesday.
I also made in-person or phone appearances on KTVU, KGO, KQED, and KCBS radio talking 4/20 Thursday and Friday. That last interview was at 6:30 p.m. from a Thai restaurant I was eating at after reporting ten hours straight. 
It's always surreal to be sitting in a booth, drinking a Singha, on the phone with the radio anchor — knowing your voice is being blasted out across the region ...   [Art via the High Art contest, which announced its annual winners yesterday.]
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Some awards, some news ...

First: The awards. The Chronicle took a Scripps Howard award for Breaking News for its ‘Wine Country Fires’, to which GreenStatecontributedseveral stories.

Also, GreenState reporter Spencer Silva is a finalist for a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for In-Depth Reporting (Large) and Interactive. Winners will be announced and finalists honored at this year's Region 11 Spring Conference April 27-28, 2018 in Universal City, California.

Next up: I’m wrapping things up with GreenState this week and handing the baton to The Chronicle. In the last 18 months, we accomplished our goals of creating a future-forward cannabis media brand. I'll miss working next to so many talented people in one room. But it’s time to move on to new challenges.

Readers can follow my work by subscribing to my email list at, and/or following meTwitter and Facebook.

Publishers can reach me for assignments and pitches at

Advertisers can book…

New web sites, new books, more podcasting, etc.

Howdy — long time, no talk. Sorry, I've been crazy busy.

See, since my last post, we launched a cannabis media brand for the San Francisco Chronicle - GreenState. We have new stories there every day, plus a hit weekly newsletter — the Field Guide. Sign up for that. You can also follow GreenState on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

I'm still doing the podcast, The Hash. Available on iTunes.

Also: I released a new book, Marijuana Harvest, by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs.

Along the way, I've been featured by The New York Times and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Plus there's been regular radio, TV and event appearances.

And that's not even getting into my personal life — fatherhood is wild.

Sorry again for the lag in communication. I'll try to be better.

You can always catch daily updates from me over on Twitter. We got loads of great things cooking.

The Medical Marijuana Guidebook By David Downs Is Selling Briskly

Hi, guys. Long time no chat, but it's because I've been pretty busy. As of today, you can be the first to get a signed copy of my new book The Medical Marijuana Guidebook, which is for sale direct at as well as through Amazon and my publisher Whitman. Here's what some key folks are saying about the book:

"The medical marijuana landscape in the US can be extremely difficult to navigate. The Medical Marijuana Guidebook is essential for those who want to maximize the benefits of the marijuana plant. David Downs provides a comprehensive look at the plant, its use and the laws that surround it." —Amanda Reiman PhD MSW | Manager, Marijuana Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance
"David Downs does a great job of summarizing the most useful things to know about medical cannabis, both for the cannabis-experienced, as well as cannabis-naive patient."—Frank H. Lucido MD, Berkeley, California
"An excellent introductory manual for those seeking to n…

Marijuana, Luxury, and a New Column for 7X7

I'm starting to track the intersection of cannabis and Bay Area luxury/power/money in a new column for 7X7 Magazine.

We're still working on the name for it. First it was "High Society". Currently it's "Cannabis Insider". I'm not in love with either. But we're definitely keeping the pseudonym: Herb Caine.

Read: "Cannabis Insider: Pitching Pot in the Twitter Building", in 7X7.

Listen to David Downs talk medical cannabis on KPCC's AirTalk

From 89.3 KPCC Los Angeles this morning:

An agreement hammered out by CA lawmakers last night would provide a regulatory framework for the industry, including the establishment of a new Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation responsible for licensing and other regulation-related issues.
California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. In the two decades, the state has largely left regulation of the industry to individual cities and counties.
The likelihood that this proposal will gain passage in the state legislature is high.
Who are the winners and losers under this new regulatory framework? How does this figure into the expectation that California would legalize recreational marijuana in 2016? More coverage of AB 266 and SB 643 on East Bay Express and

Jon Hopkins balances beats, brains at Mezzanine | San Francisco Examiner