1. Headline
  1. Headline
msnbc.com news services
updated 7/5/2011 12:06:48 PM ET 2011-07-05T16:06:48

Could the pot business save local newspapers?

  1. Stories from
    1. Lindsay Lohan Reveals She Had a Miscarriage
    2. Game of Thrones Recap: The Ends Justify the Mean (Spoilers)
    3. The Royals Go Wild, Miley Cyrus Channels a Duck & More Weekend News
    4. Soldiers Inspire Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor to Run Again
    5. Kevin Sharp, Country Singer with High-Profile Cancer Battle, Dies at 43

Many newspapers are scaling back staff and trying to turn to other sources of revenue, but one Sacramento newspaper is expanding its business by tapping into an unconventional advertising source.

By recognizing the potential for medical marijuana business advertisements, the Sacramento News and Review is expanding its distribution and hiring more staff, reports Sacramento's KXTV.

The free alternative weekly newspaper has published so many ads that it has started printing 4-20, a new supplement to the paper that advertises more than 60 dispensaries.

The paper's CEO/publisher, Jeff vonKaenel, told the station that other newspapers choose not to include medical marijuana ads for fear of driving away other advertisers.

It seems that alternative weeklies are the papers most benefiting from the medical marijuana advertisements. In October 2010, the New York Times reported that in states like Colorado, California and Montana, "newspapers — particularly alternative weeklies — have rushed to woo marijuana providers" and are being generously rewarded.

But the fight between state and federal law rages on in California, where it's hard to define whether medical marijuana is or isn't legal. William Vizzard, a former Fresno County sheriff and professor of criminal justice at CSU Sacramento, told California Watch, "We've kind of reached a point in California in which we say it's medical marijuana, but the reality is that we've thrown our hands up and just accepted it. It's a very cloudy situation."

© 2013 msnbc.com


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    video Former Columbine student meets other school shooting survivors

    4/20/2014 1:59:51 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:59:51
  1. TODAY

    video Ouch! Baseball player hit in face by 90-mph fastball

    4/20/2014 1:22:19 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:22:19
  1. Nick Lisi / AP

    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    4/20/2014 5:57:24 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T17:57:24
  1. Pool / Reuters

    Prince George meets George the marsupial on zoo trip

    4/20/2014 3:44:05 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T15:44:05
  1. TODAY

    video Death toll rises as divers enter sunken South Korean ferry

    4/20/2014 1:23:09 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:23:09