POST CATEGORY: Special

Celebrating Northwest Leaf's Seventh Anniversary

June 06, 2017 | WES ABNEY

After seven years, it might be surprising to some that I feel like things are only just beginning for the Leaf, and the pot industry and our nation as a whole.

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Since starting Northwest Leaf in 2010, both my life and the magazine have gone on a tremendous journey documenting the growing Cannabis industry in all its various forms. I can truly say that I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity, and could not have done so without the support of our readers and advertisers.

The readers of the Leaf are what have always driven me to push harder and continue to create unique and interesting content. Years ago, one of my favorite things to do was sit incognito in dispensaries and watch patients read the magazine, to see what pages they liked, and how they interacted with our content. I meet people weekly to this day from all walks of life who come forward to tell me that they have been reading the magazine for years, that it is meant something in their lives, and that the information has been beneficial to their understanding of Cannabis.

Knowledge is power, and the best way we have to gain that power is through the sharing of good information. The Cannabis industry is set to be one of the most valuable on the planet, with a potential market value of hundreds of billions of dollars annually. This makes real information all the more valuable, and that is what we want to deliver with the Leaf. It’s why we don’t sell our content or do advertorial “pay for play” stories, and why I personally approve the content that ends up in the magazine. For me, it’s simple. If it isn’t quality, and it isn’t real, we won’t cover it.

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The Leaf magazines are all 100 percent advertising supported, with nearly 3,000,000 copies printed since 2010. This entire process is dependent on our advertisers and supporters, and this is something that I definitely want to emphasize. When companies choose to market their products, services or dispensary in the Leaf, they are supporting our cause of independent Cannabis journalism as well as getting a great value for their brand and marketing, and this partnership is what has allowed the magazine to be so successful. It’s incredible to know that we are beloved and supported for our message as much as our reach and readership.

Over the last several years we have seen the pot industry shift away from medical toward recreational Cannabis, and Washington specifically has left patients behind in a twisted system that is driven only by tax revenue. We must not forget the sick and dying who use this plant as a medicine, to heal, and that is what brought the industry forward enough to create legalization in the first place. We must honor our heritage and the true purpose of the plant, which is to heal and provide relief, and pleasure, and it should be a simple freedom that we all enjoy.

After seven years it might be surprising to some that I feel like things are only just beginning for the Leaf, and the pot industry and our nation as a whole. The majority of Americans can still go to jail for possessing a plant, and until that changes our mission remains fundamental. We want to educate people about the plant, enlighten them to the myriad medicinal benefits, and preach the simple truth that Marijuana is Safer than Alcohol. This should be our goal as a community, not just us here at the magazine. Because each time you educate or share truth about the plant, the impact of those words resonates throughout our society. So as always, thanks for reading the Leaf, for sharing it with friends and family, coworkers and those needing enlightenment. It has been my pleasure and honor to share the magazines with you, and I hope to continue doing so for many years to come.

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