The Sesh is a new cannabis media project from Uncle Ike’s, focused on news, culture, and product reviews. For some reason, Ian Eisenberg, Ike’s owner, decided it would be a good idea to give me—that dude who wrote a bunch of stuff about pot for The Stranger and other outlets—the money to publish, well, whatever the hell I want, really. Ideally, that will be things that enlighten readers about the inner workings of the cannabis industry, advocate for social justice, highlight all the wonderful things to get stoned and do in this city, make people laugh a whole lot, and generally make Seattle a more fun, interesting place for our readers.
But, you might be thinking, does the world really need another hip cannabis blog? Given the current crop, I certainly wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. None of them are particularly compelling, and nearly all of them operate on the tired premise that just because something has to do with weed, it’s interesting.
I’ve always seen the cannabis media game a little differently though. In my estimation, people who love cannabis enough to click on a website centered around it are generally good people with good taste, and they want to read about stuff that speaks to that. Sometimes that’s about cannabis itself—the products, policies, and people involved in it—and sometimes it isn’t. While I do intend to have the absolute best coverage of the Washington State cannabis beat, the site will also publish everything from personal essays to art criticism to album reviews. This being a cannabis blog, there’ll obviously be some opinions on the best things to eat as well.
The meat and potatoes of the site will be our reviews section, which is pulled directly from the internal product reviews that Uncle Ike’s budtenders already write. Because of Washington’s strict sampling laws, and because there are approximately 6 trillion products on the shelves these days, not all the budtenders can try all the things. So they write detailed reviews to spread their knowledge across the company. I love me some Leafly, but user-submitted strain reviews have always seemed kind of iffy to me, so I’m really excited to offer product-specific reviews by people whose job it is to know products.
In another probably ill-advised left turn from the traditional digital media model, we are also committed to writing less. At The Sesh, we don’t want to waste anyone’s time, least of all our own, so I’ll only be publishing things that are worth your attention. This means it’ll be predominantly original pieces instead of aggregation, with an emphasis on unique ideas and real reporting. We don’t want you to stumble across us because you searched “How to hide weed in your butt”—although we would love to tell you how to safely do that—we want you to type our URL into your browser bar and come here because you like what we write.
There will of course be a weekly roundup of important cannabis news, as well as a list of our favorite things to eat, hear, see, or otherwise experience each week, but these too will be meticulously curated. One of the main benefits of corporate patronage is that we don’t have to chase clicks, so we can test the theory that people might be fleeing digital media in droves not because no one reads anymore, but because people are sick to death of reading dumb bullshit.
Speaking of corporate patronage, one thing I learned from my time at The Stranger is that it’s very okay to have a slant, so long as you are honest about it. Full disclosure: Ian pays for everything, so we will probably not be publishing any scathing takedowns of Uncle Ike’s anytime soon. We will probably make a lot of dumb jokes about how Uncle Ike’s is the best and you should spend your entire paycheck every month at Ike’s, but you are free to take or leave that advice. What we won’t do is misrepresent our funding model, or try to pass off something as independent of that influence when it’s not.
Indeed, one of the main reasons I signed on to this project is that, despite his reputation as a villain, Ian is one of the most honest people I’ve met in cannabis. What he says is what he means, even if it isn’t always what you want to hear. And while this little venture is absolutely intended to increase Ike’s prestige and build brand loyalty and all that jazz, I’m also fairly convinced that, given the intangible return on investment he’s getting, Ian is a legitimate fan of weird media and just wants to see it flourish here. I’m okay with all of those things happening at once.
P.S. If you’re a writer, or just someone with a good story to tell, pitch me! Our pitching guidelines are here, and I’m always available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t write, but just want us to know about World Vasectomy Day (it’s a real thing!) or whatever cool thing you’re doing, please also hit me up.