REFERENCE GUIDES Our official dictionary is Merriam-Webster Online at Our style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style at Individual style and voice will be honored.


• Do not abbreviate Ave., Blvd., Dr., Hwy, Rd., Rte., St., etc. in addresses. 

• Times are thus: 7am-8pm rather than 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; use “noon” or “midnight” rather than the potentially confusing “12am” or “12pm.” 

• Abbreviate days of the week in most cases (certainly in directories) M, Tu, W, Th, F, Sa, Su 

• Use ° rather than “degrees”: 400° oven, 90° day (opt+shft+8). 

• States within body text should be spelled out. 

• Spell out all recipe measurements: tablespoon, teaspoon, ounce, pound. 

• United States (n), US (adj) but never U.S.
• Use full name once before using an acronym; National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)


• Lowercase cannabis when referring to cannabis in general unless it is in a title or brand name or in reference to its scientific name Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica or family name Cannabaceae

• Uppercase recognized neighborhoods and sub-areas such as Tenderloin or North Bay 

• Uppercase varieties and strains as applicable, such as Amnesia Haze, Purple Kush, Hass avocados or Ojai Pixie tangerines, including wine varietals (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc.)

• Uppercase what follows a colon if it is a complete sentence 

• Spring, summer, fall, and winter are lowercase 

• Recipe ingredients are lowercase (unless appropriate like Brussels sprouts, Potli Chili Oil)
• Federal and state are lowercase unless used as a noun; The Feds vs. at the state or federal levels


• To add emphasis, use italics—but do so sparingly 

• Use italics for foreign words (those not in our dictionary) and titles of movies, books, newspapers, blogs, podcasts and magazines. Use quote marks for magazine articles, TV shows, radio shows; Reefer Madness

• Do not use underscore 

• Use accent marks on “café," "purée," "sauté” and “entrée." 

• A comma never accompanies a “?' 


• In general, hyphenate "multi” words (multi-tasking) but not "non” (nonprofit) 

• Never use a double hyphen; for a dash, use an em-dash with no space before or after—like so. To indicate a range of numbers, use an en-dash: 300–350°, 9am-noon. 

• Do not hyphenate in titles and subtitles 

• Hyphenate an age when it acts as a noun: “That 70-year-old loves cannabis.” “She is 70 years old.”


• Phone numbers should be styled 800.555.1212. 

• Spell out one through nine; use numerals for 10 and above. Use numerals for ages, mg dose and percentages

• Follow the same rule for ordinal numbers and use superscript for “th”, etc.: 1st, 310, 10th 

• Times are thus: 7am-8pm rather than 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; use “noon” or “midnight” rather than the potentially      confusing “12am” or “12pm” 

• Decades: 1930s, not 1930's; '50s and '60s, not Fifties and Sixties. Same for ages of people: “In my 20s...” 

• Centuries: 18th century, 21st century 

• Use % rather than "percent 

• Use ° rather than “degrees”: 400° oven, 90° day (opt+shft+8) 

• Use proper fraction format  ⅓, ¼, not 1 / 4

• Spell out numbers to start sentences 


• Place only one space between a period and the beginning of the next sentence 

• Do not use the serial comma (don't put a comma before and or but in a series). 

• Periods and commas go inside close-quote marks; semicolons and colons go outside them. 

• Use closed-up em dashes—to set off clauses—like this. (op+sh+-) 

• Use en dash in range of times, dates or other figures: 4–6pm, 1–2 cups, July 18–21. (op+-) 

• When inserting an author's comment into a quotation, use brackets rather than parentheses: "I came out of the '60s, like a lot of people our age, and you carry a certain level of that activism with you.” 

• Place nicknames in quotes: Geronimo “Jefe” Bernard 

• Ellipses (...) should only be used to indicate deleted text (such as in a quote) and only be 3 to end a sentence

• Use exclamation points sparingly, if at all 

• Bulleted items take a period at the end ONLY if they are complete sentences. 

• The subscript for footnotes goes outside punctuation


• Use numerals and actual fractions ¼ 

• Spell out all recipe measurements (tablespoon, teaspoon, cup, ounce)

• 400° (not 400 degrees F) on a Mac is Opt+Shift+8 

• Follow this order: title, headnote (if applicable), yield (“Serves 6”), ingredients & prep instructions

• List the ingredients in the order they are called for in the instructions. 

• Place each ingredient on its own line

• In prep instructions, use the numerals that match the recipe

• Do not number the steps


• Please use Chicago style citations for the print version and add links for our blog

Please know that we appreciate you so much! Due to the many submissions we receive daily, only a limited percentage will make it to print. Don’t let that discourage you from submitting, your voice is invaluable to us and one day we hope to have the capacity to share more and more.

Thank you!