(Matilde Campodonico, Associated Press file)

The Cannabist honored with journalism awards for health, business coverage

Reporter Alicia Wallace recognized for in-depth reporting, including PTSD in Colorado and lawn-and-garden giant Scotts Miracle-Gro expanding into cannabis sector

There are scores of stories to be told about the evolution of marijuana legalization in America, and cannabis journalism is receiving mainstream recognition.

The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace, who covers national business and policy matters along with Colorado-based topics, has received multiple honors for her in-depth reporting in the past year. The Denver Post, which oversees The Cannabist, also picked up a number of awards for topical marijuana coverage.

Wallace, who worked on The Denver Post’s business beat before joining The Cannabist in July 2016, earned accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional chapter, the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters in the groups’ annual April contest events.

For CPA’s Better Newspaper Contest in the Class 9 category of dailies over 50,000 circulation, Wallace received a first-place award for Best Agriculture Story for “How one of America’s most visible Fortune 1000 giants snuck into the cannabis industry”; first place Best Business News/Feature Story for “Slow to rebound, Pueblo is redefining its economic image”; and second place in Best Health Enterprise/Health Feature Story for “How PTSD became the most divisive pot issue of 2016.” The Denver Post’s John Ingold and Jesse Paul received second-place honors for Best Deadline News Reporting for their story “Colorado town finds THC in its water, warns residents not to drink or bathe in it,” and Denver Post sports reporter Nicki Jhabvala won first place for Best Series for “Game of Pain,” which covered NFL athletes’ use of cannabidiol.

At SPJ’s regional Top of the Rockies awards in the print circulation category of 75,000 or more, Wallace won first place for Business General Reporting for her reports on Scotts Miracle-Gro moving into the cannabis industry; second place for Health Enterprise Reporting for her coverage of cannabis and PTSD; and shared third-place recognition for Business Enterprise Reporting with The Denver Post’s Emilie Rusch, Aldo Svaldi, Jason Blevins and Tracy M. Cook for coverage of the bankruptcy of Sports Authority.

CAPER awarded the following in the circulation group of 300,000 and above: a first-place Business Story co-honor for Denver Post investigative reporter David Migoya and former Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca for their special report, “Owners Behind the Colorado Cannabis Industry”; a first-place nod for Informational Graphic to Denver Post data journalist Kevin Hamm for his portfolio that included an interactive map of Denver marijuana businesses; and Wallace received third place for Beat Reporting on the “Policy and Business of Cannabis.”