Paper launches pot site

A specialized cannabis news website called The Leaf is generating quite a "buzz" since launching earlier this week, according to the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Paul Samyn said the newspaper thinks there is growing reader appetite locally and nationally for news about marijuana as Canada moves toward legalization of recreational pot use next summer.

"What we thought would be a smart thing in this digital age is to try and create a destination that would serve anyone looking for information, not just those who would normally be seen as in the readership footprint for a regional newspaper," he said.

To serve that need, it has hired a full-time cannabis reporter to generate articles such as the site's first locally written piece, "So, you want to grow your own (legal) weed." It's also looking for advertisers to help offset its costs.

The site's logo includes a cannabis leaf combined with a red maple leaf and it invites readers to ask for advice from a columnist named Dear Herb.

Samyn said the newspaper has let its readership know over the past few months that the website is coming. He said he's had no complaints from readers that the resources should be spent on other priorities.

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