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Read David Downs' Resume

David Downs 

San Francisco, CA.
415.240.2742 cell

2004, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL., Medill School of Journalism, Academy of Alternative Journalism, Fellow
1998-2002, University of California Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

Cannabis Editor | San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA.
Created the award-winning lifestyle media vertical, GreenState, at the national metropolitan daily newspaper. Duties included: reporting, writing, assigning stories, editing, photography, art direction, web production, marketing and administration. Facilitated The Chronicle's rise to dominance in cannabis news on the West Coast, liaising with the Metro, Business, Lifestyle, Opinion, and Investigative teams to set story priorities and effort reporting.

2008-2016, 2018-Present
Freelance Journalist, Author
San Francisco, CA.
Award-winning arts, technology and cannabis journalist. Best-selling author. Contributing author to Beyond Buds (2014), author of The Medical Marijuana Guidebook (2016) and co-author of Marijuana Harvest (2017). Senior Editor, Cannabis Now Magazine. Syndicated columnist, East Bay Express — "Legalization Nation". Editor, Smell The Truth on Co-founder, "The Hash" podcast. Product reviewer/photographer, CULTURE magazine. Arts and technology journalism for New York Times, Scientific AmericanWIREDRolling Stone, etc. Village Voice music criticEDM reporter, San Francisco Examiner; Music App Reviewer, Billboard Magazine.

2007 - 2008
Web Music Editor | Village Voice Media
San Francisco, CA.
Managing a national staff of sixteen including hiring and acquisitions. Digital and print reporting, writing, photography, editing, and production for a national sixteen-paper, alternative newsweekly chain. Doubled SF average monthly page views in eight months.

2006 - 2007
Music Editor/Web Editor | East Bay Express
Oakland, CA.
Award-winning weekly column writing for 70,000 circulation weekly newspaper. Launched East Bay Express daily web content. Editing a twenty-page weekly print music section with a staff of freelancers across the country.

2018 Scripps Howard Breaking News Award for Wine Country fires coverage
2010 Knight-Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism
2008 First Place, Technology Writing, The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, "The Day The Music Dies"
2006 First Place, Features Writing, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, "Roboscalper"

2018 International Cannabis Business Conference - San Francisco — moderator
2017 International Cannabis Business Conference - Kauai — moderator
2017 Loyola Law School - Journalist Law School — guest lecturer
2016 UC Berkeley Extension - Beat Reporting — guest lecturer

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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.