AP reporters Gene Johnson in Seattle; Andrew Selsky in Oregon and Michael Blood in Los Angeles along with Seattle video journalist Manuel Valdes scored huge play with print, online and video customers with a deeply reported, all-formats examination of the crash of the U.S. West Coast’s legal marijuana industry in the absence of federal legalization. 

Johnson and Blood were richly sourced from years on AP’s marijuana beat team and Selsky frequently covers pot in Oregon, where illicit grows are rampant. The three reported all along the Pacific Coast, from northern Washington to suburban Los Angeles, for a sweeping story deftly anchored by Johnson. Meanwhile Valdes coordinated feeds from four states and produced a visually rich edit that took viewers into grow houses, retail shops and massive pot warehouses to illustrate the industry’s woes.