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Ricardo Baca breaks new ground as he covers one of the biggest stories to come out of Colorado in years.

Ricardo Baca (B.A. journalism ’99) was on his way to a taping of “The Colbert Report” in late 2013 when Denver-based producer Britta Erikson called. She wanted to know if he’d be willing to let a film crew shadow him and his staff for a documentary about his job as the country’s first full-time marijuana editor at a major daily newspaper.

Baca anticipated a certain degree of notoriety when he became The Denver Post’s cannabis editor. In addition to “The Colbert Report,” Baca has appeared on CNN and “The View” and has been featured in The New York Times and numerous other outlets. Some interviewers appeared skeptical or mildly amused by Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. While others, like “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg, seemed fascinated by the story and interested in how Baca and his team would cover it from a journalistic standpoint.

The whole world, it seemed, wanted to know what would happen after Jan. 1, 2014, when the first dispensaries began selling recreational marijuana to adults ages 21 and older in Colorado. Baca was more concerned about getting The Cannabist website up and running in just five weeks, however. The site is the repository for The Denver Post’s ongoing, multi-faceted and well-rounded coverage of one of the biggest news stories to come out of Colorado in years. Goldberg has even contributed several articles to the site since its launch, and Baca has also brought in several other high-profile contributors in his role as editor.

“Before The Cannabist launched, people were almost expecting it,” said Baca. “And all the weirdness that came along with it was great for the site and great for the paper, in my opinion, especially when you’re trying to launch something new.

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“The legalization of cannabis in Colorado is a cultural game changer and marks the creation of a new industry in our state that deserves serious, deep and creative coverage,” said The Denver Post Editor-in-Chief Greg Moore. “We felt Ricardo would be comfortable with the spotlight that comes with being the first marijuana editor at a major newspaper. He has been a great ambassador for the journalism we are doing.

Baca had been The Denver Post’s music critic for 12 years and entertainment editor prior to that. In addition to his award-winning music coverage and criticism, Baca also started the paper’s “Reverb” music blog as well as The Underground Music Showcase, a highly regarded music festival that provides a format for up-and-coming bands to reach new audiences. Without anyone asking, Baca recognized a need for a music blog at The Denver Post, as well as for a music festival, and so he took the initiative to start them. Both are still going.

“I think that’s one reason why they approached me about the [cannabis editor] position,” Baca said. “The overall goal was to create something comprehensive and fun on the subject, and I knew that it had to be fun and readable, as well.

A Colorado native, Baca wrote for his school paper at Westminster High School and enrolled at MSU Denver on a full scholarship from The Rocky Mountain News. Baca covered music and theatre for The Metropolitan, wrote for The Rocky Mountain News each summer and clerked there during the school year.

“The scholarship is what brought me to Metro and introduced me to the passionate, intelligent and demanding professors there who pushed me to do better,” Baca said. “MSU Denver’s employment of adjunct professors working in current fields is a powerful attribute to what the school offers those studying professions like journalism.”

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Of course covering marijuana isn’t the only thing in Baca’s life these days. He’s newly married and will be appearing on a movie screen near you: “Rolling Papers,” the documentary about Baca and his work with The Cannabist, recently premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin and was picked up for distribution.

Discover how Ricardo Baca is breaking new journalistic ground in The Cannabist.

©Copyright 2014 by Metropolitan Denver Magazine . All rights reserved.
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A Mile Higher: COOKIES Opens First Colorado Retail Location in Denver

DENVER , Nov. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — International cannabis lifestyle brand COOKIES is planting roots in the country’s oldest recreational cannabis market with the launch of its first Colorado retail location in Denver on Thursday, November 5 . The storefront located in Denver’s eclectic South Broadway neighborhood features the brand’s proprietary and premium genetics and best-selling products. COOKIES is humbled and excited to join the industry-leading Denver cannabis community.

The Denver retail location offers popular COOKIES strains including: Gary Payton , Gelatti, Cheetah Piss, White Runtz, Georgia Pie, and Sticky Buns. COOKIES will also offer heavy-hitting products from the broader COOKIES family of brands: LEMONNADE, RUNTZ and COLLINS AVE. while stocking strains and products from several top-quality Colorado -based brands like Cherry; a buzzworthy and award-winning boutique local grower.

The new store features a grow operation that customers can view through an in-store window. Located at 2057 S. Broadway, the retail storefront is situated among a wide variety of boutiques, music venues, eateries, and arts attractions. The South Broadway neighborhood, affectionately known as SoBo, has exploded into one of the focal points for Denver’s music and cultural scenes over the past decade.

COOKIES has offered its strains and products in Colorado dispensaries since May 2020 thanks to their exclusive partnerships with local cultivation operator Veritas Fine Cannabis and local distribution and manufacturing partner, Slang Worldwide.

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The COOKIES team, based in California , has been intimately involved with the Colorado expansion since its inception and is proud to partner with a local cultivator whose growing techniques live up to the brand’s high standards for product quality and consistency.

Through strategic grower partnerships and brand-owned retail locations, COOKIES strains and products are now available in every legal adult-use market in the U.S. (excluding those markets recently legalized as a result of November 3, 2020 ballot initiatives).

COOKIES, founded in 2008 by Berner (the prolific Bay Area rapper and entrepreneur) and his partner Jai (a Bay Area breeder and cultivator) is more than a premiere cannabis company; it is an authentic lifestyle brand with passionate fans all over the world. The company went mainstream in 2011 and has grown its business through the combination of globally recognized premium genetics, popular culture resonance, and social media influence. COOKIES is constantly engaged in new breeding projects to launch differentiated brands and has quickly built a grassroots cult following while remaining loyal to its brand promise: authenticity and genetics innovativion.

Today, COOKIES is one of the most well-respected and top-selling cannabis brands in California and throughout the world. The company and its product are recognized globally and offer a stable of over 85 cannabis varieties and product lines including indoor and sungrown flower, pre-rolls, gel caps, and vape carts. COOKIES’ seed-to-sale business allows for complete quality control at every step—from cultivation and production to customers’ end retail experience. With a deep commitment to restorative justice and progressive drug policy, COOKIES actively works to enrich communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs through advocacy work and social equity initiatives.