5 New Books on Cannabis to Read This Summer


While some may have plans to get through the classics this summer, cannabis industry hopefuls should consider adding these five new books to their summer reading lists.


1. “Weed the People”

Published on April 7, 2015, Bruce Barcott’s nonfiction book covers two years of his journalistic investigations into the realities of marijuana legalization in America. While Barcott has impressive writing credentials, including a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, most mainstream reviewers have focused on the merits of the actual writing, which is as it should be. And while not all reviewers liked Barcott’s writing, “Weed the People” is an insightful read for those who haven’t been able to observe the inner-workings of America’s legalization movement.


2. “Big Weed”

Published April 21, 2015, “Big Weed” is a nonfiction book by Christian Hageseth, CEO of American Cannabis Partners and President of Green Man Cannabis in Colorado. Hageseth’s book documents his entrepreneurial journey into the world of legal marijuana, including all of the risks and rewards that he has experienced along the way. Hageseth has a vested interest in the success of the legal cannabis industry, which is why his story of traversing the industry’s peaks and valleys may be especially valuable for industry hopefuls.


3. “Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir”

Published on April 20, 2015, this memoir by novelist Catherine Hiller recounts her recreational marijuana consumption over the past 50 years. Instead of a journalistic or entrepreneurial investigation, this book is a reflection on her personal marijuana use, one that doesn’t fit the prohibitionist’s stoner narrative. Marijuana didn’t ruin Hiller’s life, marijuana enhanced it, and her story reminds readers that moms and neighbors can also enjoy marijuana responsibly.


4. “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana”

Published on May 19, 2015, “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana” is the product of a collaborative effort between Chronicle Books; Dan Michaels, founder of Sinsemedia, a cannabis marketing and branding firm; and Erik Christiansen, founder of Nugshots, a professional cannabis photography company.

This book is a contemporary field guide for cannabis, identifying and discussing 170 cannabis strains, with strains portrayed in macro photographs. Because of the book’s stunning photography, it embodies the characteristics of a field guide paired with fine art photography. It signifies the continued elevation of cannabis culture.


5. “It’s a Long Story: My Life”

Willie Nelson is known for his country music, but also his love of cannabis. Nelson’s memoir, published May 5, 2015, may not be a story specifically about cannabis, but cannabis has played a prominent role in his life. Intermingled with his personal and musical memories, Nelson recounts the first time he tried to smoke a joint, rescuing his guitar Trigger and two pounds of Colombian cannabis from a house fire in 1970, getting arrested in Louisiana in 2006 for possession, vaping on a commercial airliner departing from Maui, among other entertaining tales.

With Nelson getting ready to launch Willie’s Reserve, now is the time for cannabis connoisseurs to learn about the man behind the brand-name marijuana.

Caroline Cahill is the Managing Editor of MJINews. She earned her BA in Communications from College of Charleston and her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has previously worked in higher education, development and radio. You can follow her on Twitter @CtheresaC.

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