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U.S.: Groundbreaking Cannabis TV Show Delivers National Network Highs

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Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" is topping national cable network ratings as a journalistic news outlet covering the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.

Hosted by media entrepreneur and former NPR news anchor Becca Williams, the national TV show’s “420 special” which aired on April 20 received record viewership, becoming the most popular weekly program to date on Free Speech TV network in 2016.

Based on Rentrak ratings service, Free Speech TV garners approximately 1.2 million viewers per month and reaches nearly 40 million households. The station airs on DirecTV and DISH channels, as well as 200 part-time cable affiliates.

Host Williams is a long-time cannabis advocate and consumer who recognized the potential of a broadcast medium devoted to the controversial subject of marijuana. With riveting candor and hard-hitting commentary, Williams rips through fact, fiction and folly to get to the truth behind America’s misconceptions about the “Green Rush.”

"Marijuana Straight Talk"'s episodes tackle the realities of a rapidly expanding cannabis community. From educational and wellness segments to in-depth interviews and historical narratives, the show creates a cannabis culture that is socially conscious, sustainable and prosperous.

Vermont: State's First Cannabis-Dedicated Media Platform Launched

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Two Vermont-based entrepreneurs have founded what they say is the first cannabis-dedicated media platform in the state, starting with the launch of Heady Vermont, a news and culture site that analyzes and follows pot developments in Vermont and the surrounding region.

“The Vermont media's done a fantastic job of covering statehouse developments and cannabis news,” said Monica Donovan, managing partner and publisher.

“We sensed a need for deeper coverage that can evolve with the interests and needs of Vermonters as we move towards legalization,” added Editor-in-Chief Eli Harrington.

Heady Vermont produces and publishes daily news and media content on its site HeadyVermont.com — including in-depth features, guest op-eds and third party listings. In addition to content and media creation, Heady Vermont promotes community cannabis events and education.

"Heady Vermont is all at once newsworthy, enjoyable and thought-provoking, calling for accountability and fairness in a growth industry that frequently needs to check in with itself," said Donovan. "There exists a highly diverse variety of interests and positions at stake in the cannabis community. I think this is a great chance to give voice to the chorus making up the emerging cannabis scene in Vermont."

Alaska: Marijuana News Show Now Broadcast On KBYR Anchorage

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TNMNews, which calls itself "the unbiased marijuana talk radio program," is now broadcast on KBYR Anchorage. The announcement follows the news last month that TNMNews is also broadcast on KFAR 660 AM, the oldest radio station in Alaska.

"KBYR has become the third terrestrial station to pick up our unbiased cannabis-related news and talk show," said Todd Denkin, president of TNMNews and CEO of its parent company, DigiPath, Inc. "Cannabis is a hot topic in Alaska, where voters recently gave thumbs up to the recreational use of marijuana by passing Ballot Measure 2."

Hosted by Todd Denkin and Jen Gentile, the latest episode of TNMNews examines how political activism is working to advance acceptance of marijuana use in America and features leaders in the fight to expand cannabis in healthcare and its role in films and television.

First up in this week's show, certified nurse Lanny Swerdlow describes how in 1995 he administered cannabis to a patient for the first time. The patient had contracted HIV/AIDS, and he was wasting away while experiencing severe side effects from his medication cocktail.

Cannabis mitigated the side effects, so Swerdlow's patient stayed compliant with his prescribed medications. It also stimulated the patient's appetite, reversing his wasting, and helped lift his spirits. The problem that Swerdlow faced in treating his patient with marijuana was having to "deal with criminals to get it for him."

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