Imagine you just started a new job. Things are kicking off. You know your role, but are still figuring out the basics of how everything is going to work. Within the first few weeks of work, your bosses come to you and say, “Hey, we have something we want to run by you. We want you to run a pot magazine. How do you feel about that?”

This is how the first week of my work with a new company essentially went. Within hours of sitting down at my new job, pretty much right away, I was given the task of working with a pot-based magazine. The cool thing is that as a past journalist I would be able to use my powers as the editor to curate and create something unique and new. The downside? Well, I was far removed from my previous experiences in journalism. And, I also was not a huge pot smoker. I was far removed from the people you would consider to be a stoner. I was a casual user, yes, but not the person who knew much. I knew very little as a matter of fact.

And then, I entered into the world of pot. Not just dispensary visits and figuring out what was the best strain for me. But an actual world of pot. I knew most of the terms, had seen parts of the industry before, had walked through a grow operation, but I never spent much time talking about it and especially never wrote about it. When it came down to it, I was excited about the potential and opportunity to try something new. To challenge me as a writer. And damn, writing about marijuana is fun.

We exist in a counter-culture on the cusp of becoming a culture. For most people across the country, marijuana is still something you talk about in a more discrete way. You smoke, casually and normally, but you cannot just light up. People from our part of the country are still talked to with a unique capacity. We are asked about the experience. If you live in a recreational state, you have likely had at least one conversation with an out of town friend or loved one about how to best buy pot. It is still something considered extremely bad in other places with members of the government, elected officials and various agencies disparaging the name of cannabis.

Where older pioneers of the industry might be frustrated by their lack of credit for the work that happened, and I stand on the shoulder of giants with cannabis, I firmly know I live in an exciting time. I know I am lucky to get to write what I do. And so I gladly accepted the role and the challenge.

Let’s just say a challenge is an easy way of describing it. There is something crazy about writing on a topic you are familiar with, but adapting to a new field simultaneously. Learning the intricacies of it. The last six months have been a great experience. And we would like to think the experience has been just as much a growing time for our entire office. We’ve slowly and subtly picked up the niches of our work.

While this is our individual experience with cannabis, the same could almost be said of our entire industry. The world of marijuana has exploded in the last year. Slowly but surely we have found new ways to change and grow. We have seen new information emerge about cannabis. Technology has been adopted immediately, creating rival communities within the arena of cannabis that challenge even some of the giants already existing in the world. We have seen how consumers have made choices with their business and what models are working better. We’ve witnessed as time has gone on how new regulations emerge in the name of safety. We have watched as a government has adopted policies in an attempt to make cannabis safe while simultaneously realizing what works and what doesn’t.

Overall, the industry has undergone growth, met with a few major roadblocks and seen a great degree of change. It is an exciting time to be in the field.

We are not the only ones growing here at the Gazette. Everyone is growing and learning. We talk a ton with our readers and we find many educated people. We also find consumers who are still learning and still growing. They are finding ways to learn what they like, what the best strains are and the best ways to get high. Things are changing, and times are moving forward.

The past year has been an exciting one. The culture has moved forward considerably. The last year could easily be considered a time of growth for the industry. The culture has moved forward in its self-contained bubble. It has started to permeate the outside cultures. My next guess on where we go? Next, I imagine we go through the mainstream. We are on the cusp and with the political landscape of 2016, pot is going to explode at the forefront of conversations.

It is only a matter of time until we keep going forward. Here is to wonderful 2015. Time to see what 2016 can bring.

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