PNA Calendar of Events

2018 Sharon Johnson Memorial Workshop - Pot in PA

  • Date: Nov 14, 2018 - Nov 14, 2018
  • Location: Harrisburg
  • Address: Pennsylvania Newspaper Association 3899 N. Front St
  • Contact: PNA Foundation
  • Email:
  • Phone: (717) 703-3012

For 30 years, Sharon Johnson connected with the readers of The Patriot-News (Harrisburg) through her arts and entertainment writing. Her witty and informed style made her a must-read in central Pa. In honor of Sharon's memory, this workshop will focus on important issues or concerns on writing.

This year's topic:  POT IN PA

What you need to know about covering the marijuana industry

On April 17, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 3, Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical cannabis legislation, allowing for the use of marijuana for qualified medical conditions under the supervision of certified physicians.  Since then, dispensaries have been established and tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians have applied for cards.

This workshop is geared toward reporters, editors and all newsroom managers.  Sessions and speakers will address various angles of this complex issue and how to cover it in your community.  From the families who lobbied for legalization to the science of the product to the taxing and regulating of this controversial treatment to what the future may hold, we’ll discuss it all.  Please join us.

Current Agenda

Additional panelists and presenters TBD. Check back for updates and to register.

Registration and coffee available at 8:45 a.m.  Welcome and introductions at 9 a.m.

Where Pennsylvania Stands, 9:10 to 9:40 a.m.

How did Pennsylvania get here and answers to questions about the industry. 

Speaker: Mike Folmer, PA State Senator, representing Lebanon, Dauphin and York counties and co-sponsor of Act 16 of 2016.

Putting a Face on Marijuana Use, 9:50 to 10:40 a.m.

Parents talk about why allowing medical marijuana has been important for them, and what we as reporters should know about it.

The Science and the Need, 10:50 to 11:40 a.m.

Looking at why medical marijuana now, what it does and so forth.

Panelists include:            

--Sara Jane Ward, PhD, assistant professor, Pharmacology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

--Nancy Lake, CAMS-Audit, director of compliance anchor, Atlantic Community Bankers Bank

--James Reichenbach, council president, City of Lancaster

--Lori Dodson, deputy director, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

Auditor General on Taxing, Regulating, 11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will attend, talk about taxing and regulating marijuana and answer questions.

Lunch, 12:15 to 12:45 P.M.

KEYNOTE, 12:45 to 1:30 P.M.

Speaker: Eric Sterling, advisory board member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

Since 1989, Eric E. Sterling has been the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges, universities, and professional societies throughout the nation and is regularly interviewed by the national news media.  From 2013 to 2017, he was a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission where he was chair of the Policy Committee, a member of the Executive Committee, and principal author of Maryland’s medical cannabis regulations.

The Future of Medical Marijuana, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

Will there be full legalization at some point?  Expanding industry?  We’ll look into an eight ball for some possible answers.

Panelists include:             

--Becky Dansky, former legislative counsel, Marijuana Policy Project

--Chris Goldstein, marijuana activist, Philly420 writer and professor of “Marijuana in the News” class, Temple University.

--Dr. Elizabeth Harrington, staff pharmacist, RISE Erie, Erie’s only medical marijuana dispensary

--Dr. David Nathan, MD, DFAPA, psychiatrist, educator and consultant, Princeton Psychiatry & Consulting, LLC

Where Does Marijuana Coverage Fit into Your Newsroom, 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Learn from those who have tackled this topic from various-sized newsrooms, covering different communities.

Panelists include:             

--Gillian Flaccus, urban affairs reporter and video journalist, The Associated Press marijuana beat team

--Payton Guion, investigative reporter covering marijuana, and New Jersey Advance Media

--Joshua Vaughn, cops and courts reporter, The Sentinel and, Carlisle

Download the 2018 Sharon Johnson flyer 

Cost: $19 per person for PNA members; $29 for non-members.

To register, email the PNA Foundation, or phone (717) 703-3000.

noy announcement ad
archive ad for web
Contact Us  |  3899 North Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17110  |  Phone: (717) 703-3000  |  Fax: (717) 703-3001