Like 'CNN for cannabis,' Scottsdale company offers live marijuan - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Like 'CNN for cannabis,' Scottsdale company offers live marijuana election coverage

CannabisRadio.com will produce a six-hour live election special on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) CannabisRadio.com will produce a six-hour live election special on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Cannabisradio.com is looking to have a more serious tone for marijuana topics. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Cannabisradio.com is looking to have a more serious tone for marijuana topics. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Nine states are deciding the fate of recreational or medical marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Nine states are deciding the fate of recreational or medical marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Their goal is to produce a live election broadcast like CNN. If the “C” stood for cannabis, that is.

Scottsdale-based CannabisRadio.com will produce a six-hour live election special on Tuesday that focuses entirely on the marijuana races throughout the country. The website, which bills itself as the largest cannabis-specific online radio and podcast network in the world, will broadcast live video for the first time.

“When the marijuana issue comes up, it always gets a chuckle. It always gets a pot pun,” said co-host Russ Belville. “It always gets a denigration or demeaning of the serious nature of this issue. And that's what we're looking to add to this coverage.”

Belville will broadcast the coverage from a virtual set in Los Angeles, alongside a crew of about two dozen people.

“It's the biggest production I've ever been a part of,” he said.

The live, internet broadcast, dubbed “Marijuana Election Night 2016,” will feature coverage on all nine states where recreational or medical marijuana is on the ballot. Beville said there will be live reports from the five states considering recreational marijuana: Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada.

The coverage will begin at 4 p.m. Arizona time.

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This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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