A Letter To Readers From Your TJM Editor

If you’re starving for fun, localized, relatable, informative, and helpful reporting, we have you covered

Dear Readers,

We launched talkingjointsmemo.com on March 1. I’m not big on press releases or major announcements, and our team wanted to prove our worth before claiming this or that.

But now that we’ve been up and running for more than a month and have something to show for our efforts, we decided it was finally time to share this short history and mission statement of sorts.

At the very least, I thought it could help answer some of the questions we are getting from readers quite regularly … 

The short version …

A few of us started Talking Joints Memo in 2015 with the intention of being the premier aggregator of cannabis content in the Bay State during the leadup to legalization.

In the nearly eight years since, we have independently produced content to distribute through partner news outlets, all while continuing to publish a regular newsletter that sifts through everything related to cannabis—from med and biz journals, to podcasts and TV news segments, to event advances—in order to curate links to must-see media for everyone from curious consumers and homegrowers to dispensary workers and owners. (You can sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of any page on talkingjointsmemo.com if you’re not already a subscriber).

None of that is changing—it’s only getting better. Because now we have a whole entire web site for Talking Joints Memo. There’s a lot more exciting news, but you went for the short version.

The TLDR version …

When we started Talking Joints Memo, our thinking was that we weren’t going to be presumptuous and publish a catchall cannabis site for the region. At the time, major newspapers that had historically opposed adult-use were heading toward investing millions of dollars in whole departments dedicated to the budding industry, while various weed culture mags showed up from out of town with New England editions.

Surely, we thought, someone with more resources than us would come to provide a comprehensive site full of Mass news and reviews. But while I salute the many independent podcasts, blogs, IG feeds, review sites, and countless other media approaches, one thing that we have learned from our thousands of dedicated email subscribers who click on us weekly is that they are starving for cannabis coverage that is fun to read, localized, relatable, and, most importantly, informative and helpful.

The Talking Joints Memo site aims to be all of that—much more than an aggregator, it nonetheless continues the work that the TJM newsletter has always provided in serving readers reliable news and reviews. We cover a whole lot of territory, but in an effort to help simplify an industry and culture that’s increasingly hard to keep tabs on, we parsed the site into four categories:

  • National News, which could be breaking out of Congress or business analysis of multi-state operators … 

  • Sips & Bites, which is advances, recipes, and reviews related to infused products that you eat or drink … 

  • Vapes & Flower, which comprises everything from homegrow tips to clone drop news to video tours of the region’s top cultivations.

So yeah, we’re doing this. Long form, short form, video, breaking news, media analysis, and loads of new product spotlights, which readers often tell us they especially appreciate. To paraphrase an email I received from one newsletter subscriber, I can’t see what’s inside of the prerolls or even any of the eighth, dab, or edible containers at most dispensaries, so I rely on Talking Joints Memo to help with those decisions. To which I say that’s a big responsibility, but one that I am happy to engage.

I have covered cannabis around here for almost 20 years, mostly as a staff writer for the alternative news outlets the Boston Phoenix and DigBoston (formerly known as the Weekly Dig). If it’s green bona fides you’re looking for, I’ve done everything from judge cups to sit in random municipal meetings for hours watching rubes holler at patients back in the fledgling days of medical advocacy. On the more glamorous side of things, I recently worked with hip-hop weed gods Cypress Hill on a book project commemorating their seminal 1991 debut.

Much more important than my own pedigree though is that TJM isn’t just me alone. While I am anchoring this new site and am hungrier than I have been in years to post relentlessly, I’ve also brought some friends along, starting with a back office and editorial crew that has been on the Mass grass scene since the outlaw days. Plus freelancers galore; from analysts and advocates to influencers and the aforementioned cannabis media makers, they’re the names you know and love. We hope to work with as many of them as possible, and are already on our way.

As anyone who has ever met me at an industry mixer has probably heard me say, possibly more than once if I was dabbing—I have no interest in being the hottest commodity on the cannabis corner. That’s not our role as reporters; as we’re seeing of late with the public and stock price meltdowns of many major operators, hotshots rarely last long in the weed space, legal or otherwise. We just want to be around to chronicle this thrilling, constantly changing culture—through honest and immersive reporting (i.e. actually consuming the products we are telling you about), multimedia dispatches, interviews, social media, and events.

All that, and a podcast too.

Plus much more. It all begins at talkingjointsmemo.com.

See you there,

Chris Faraone, Editor-in-Chief