Interview with Ellen Holland: Editor-in-Chief of High Times & Author of Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis

The cannabis industry is evolving at a breakneck pace. The need for high-quality, authoritative, and engaging content continues to grow as more people than ever seek resources and education on the powers of plant medicine.

Ellen Holland is one of the most dynamic voices in cannabis today. The editor-in-chief of the iconic magazine High Times and author of Weed: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis is a true steward of the culture, always keeping her passion for the plant at the forefront. Forever authentic, incredibly humble, and ridiculously talented, Ellen is taking the world of weed writing to new highs.

Discover how Ellen manifested her cannabis destiny, the stories she likes to tell, and which writers she thinks you should be following in this Cannabis Community College Q&A.

How did you get into the cannabis space? 

I started off loving weed with my whole heart. Smoking and eating cannabis really works well with my temperament and makes me a more creative, kind, and happy person. I have a background in print journalism. 
One day, when I was high and trying to imagine what the future might hold, I wrote down things that I loved. Among those things were writing and weed. Shortly after that, I applied for a job as a publisher’s assistant at a magazine called Cannabis Now.

What are the types of stories you like to tell?

I like to write profiles about the characters in cannabis. The people who are living myths in the present. The creative creators. The eccentric ones. The ones who love weed as much as I do.  

I often write about the cannabis plant and the new kinds of flowers and flavors. I like to tell the stories of cultivators and breeders who create new types of cannabis. I enjoy writing about the growers and farmers who are working directly with the plant.

What do you think is the difference between a mediocre story pitch and a great story pitch?

Specificity. Instead of saying you’d like to write about a topic like say, “XX,” include who you’d speak with specifically. Have real sources and fully formed ideas. Try to articulate the story you’d like to tell in the way you might actually tell it. Remember when selling words to sell the person you are pitching with your words.

Who are some other cannabis writers you love to follow? Why do you like their work?

I’m lucky enough to have aligned myself with many of the all-time great cannabis writers of our time. I believe there are three people who are really in it in terms of strain writing right now. They live and breathe the culture. They smoke all the world’s best weed and have the drive and talent to craft engaging stories about what they discover. 

Their writing is dynamic, conversational, and entertaining, and if you pay attention to what they are writing about you will know everything you need to know about what flowers you should or could be smoking. They are Jon Cappetta, Jimi Devine, and David Downs.

What advice do you have for newcomers to the cannabis industry?

Make real connections with people by following your heart and the guidance you get from the cannabis plant. Smoke all the weed you can find, but don’t just do that and sit around, use the plant to inspire your creative expression.