Media Archives - Green Market Report

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3min2440

This week the all new media platform, Flowertown, a rapidly growing cannabis media and marketing brand, and CohnReznick LLP, one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the country, announced that they will be teaming to deliver a comprehensive suite of services to the cannabis industry.

The strategic relationship was a response to an opportunity in the burgeoning cannabis marketplace that the two groups recognized and decided to collaborate to fill. The goal is to work together to provide comprehensive professional resources for industry participants looking for strategic growth and the delivery of compliance services. Additionally, the two intend to accelerate reliable consumer education.

Flowertown CEO, Dean Waters, told Green Market Report that, “In a time where consumers have so many questions about cannabis, Flowertown aspires to be the Good Housekeeping for the industry. Its education first mantra holds the hand of consumers while educating and then guiding them to safe, legal, and trusted brands and retailers.”

Flowertown is comprised of a group of marketing professionals that have been moving the needle in crowded,
general consumer markets for years. The Flowertown platform, advertising services, and influencer network has a unique offering that the company feels has cracked the code in introducing the benefits of cannabis to the general consumer market. This new relationship with CohnReznick creates an even more robust offering on a level the industry has yet to see.

“We are always looking to bring other trusted advisors to the table for our clients in this ever-changing and developing industry,” said Waters. “CohnReznick brings a tremendous amount of professional experience and technical expertise in the cannabis space. Our marketing sensibilities combined with their proven track record with both established and emerging industries creates a suite of services that will be paramount as cannabis brands and retailers break into the mainstream marketplace.”

Ira Weinstein, Cannabis Industry Leader for CohnReznick added, “We have been serving the cannabis industry for over two years and see the challenges companies are experiencing when it comes to synthesizing finance, tax and accounting issues in support of sophisticated marketing and building a brand. Flowertown’s commitment to consumer education and normalization aligns perfectly with CohnReznick’s commitment to professionalism and corporate responsibility in this space. We believe our collaboration with Flowertown brings a new level of sophisticated professional solutions that will help push this industry forward.”


StaffStaffJune 19, 2019
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4min3980

A veteran media and entertainment executive, Kraig Fox oversees High Time’s day-to-day operations, which now include Dope Magazine, Culture Magazine, Green Rush Daily, and a number of events, including the Cannabis Cup Festivals. Fox was once a Senior Managing Director of Guggenheim Partners where he focused on Guggenheim’s overall strategy in the media and entertainment spaces as well as the management of its media and entertainment investments. Prior to joining Guggenheim, Fox was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Core Media (previously CKX, Inc.) where he oversaw all operations of this publicly traded company including Core’s interests in the estate of Elvis Presley and the intellectual property rights of Muhammad Ali as well oversight of its wholly owned subsidiary, 19 Entertainment, which included American Idol (including television, records, lives tours, artist management and sponsorships) and So You Think You Can Dance.

Prior to Core, Fox was a founder of SFX Entertainment (now Live Nation) where he was Chief Development Officer from 1995 until 2000 overseeing the global consolidation of the live entertainment industry into the world’s largest owner and operator of live entertainment promoters and producers.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A –

Full birth name: Kraig Fox

Title: President and CEO

Company: High Times Holdings

Years at current company: <1

Education profile: I received my bachelor’s from SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and my Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University School of Law

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to my work in cannabis, I was a founder of what is now Live Nation and a Board Member of the Muhammad Ali Center

Company Mission: High Times’ mission is to connect cannabis consumers to endemic and non-endemic brands through our events, trade shows and digital assets.

Company’s most successful achievement: High Times is the only globally known brand in cannabis and has been connecting cannabis consumers with brands for nearly five decades. High Times has also been staging Cannabis Cup events for three decades and holds over a dozen live events a year spanning Europe, the United States and Canada, each of which draw tens of thousands of attendees who gather to celebrate the cannabis lifestyle, music and products. The Company recently expanded its international platform through its acquisition of Spannabis, one of the most prolific events in the cannabis ecosystem and one of the most well-known annual festivals within the EU.

 Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

if so, how much?: Above $25M. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes.  We are currently finishing our highly successful Reg A + public offering and plan to list on a stock market shortly. 

Most important 5 year company goal: Our focus will continue to remain on driving and growing our global brand presence.

 


StaffStaffJune 5, 2019
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9min5500

One of the most interesting and exciting elements to the, now emerging, legalized cannabis trade is how cannabis’ image, its past connotations and all of the potential uses that it has open to it, affects its sales and sales potential. Given that we’re talking about image, we’re really talking about marketing, and how you could creatively market something which was previously not only illegal most places, but actively frowned upon and associated with all sorts of negative concepts and behaviors. It’s a great challenge for any marketing team, so let’s go ahead and look at how to generate effective digital marketing schemes for this product.

  1. The Internet

Digital marketing normally involves it, but I can’t stress enough how important the internet is going to be in terms of the marketing and successful sales campaign for a cannabis company. The reality is that, for the expanding part of the market, meaning the people who are drawn to it now that they can attain it legally, there is still a stigma. The stigma exists with cannabis, regardless of the legislation. Its recreational uses are still tinged with its previous illegality. So, the internet becomes the most appealing way to purchase it. Just in the same way that the sex toy industry thrives online, cannabis purchases thrive most in the discreet anonymity of the online shopping cart.

  1. Using Influencers

Influencers do what it says on the tin: they influence. For people who are curious but not confident enough to push themselves into making a purchase, seeing their favorite YouTuber or Instagram Fitness Coach recommend a product containing cannabis can have an enormously relieving and comforting effect on them. The important thing is picking the right sort of influencer, ideally someone whose image doesn’t align at all with previous stereotypes about cannabis usage. The more relatable they are, the better.

  1. Free Samples

One potentially very useful tool that a cannabis company might have is the idea of free samples. “If the payoff is a new email for the mailing list, increased interest and likelihood of future purchase and maybe even some free marketing amongst the friends of the person in question, then sending a small sample for free to people can be very much worth the small cost it is to your company”, says Rachel Macpherson, digital marketer at EliteAssignmentHelp and StateOfWriting. For some people, taking the leap of actually spending money is a difficult hurdle, so seeing if they like a cannabis product can be the thing to nudge them into purchasing. Of course, check each state and make sure that giving samples is legal. 

  1. Content Marketing

Hearing what people have to say, your company included naturally, about cannabis products can be a great way to persuade people to purchase and to boost your sales. The difficulty is then the content creation itself, which can be tough for anyone. Here are some tools to help with your written content:

Studydemic and AcademAdvisor – Content writing guides, for general tips on creation.

Academized and PaperFellows – Some online editing tools, to make sure you get it right every time.

MyWritingWay and SimpleGrad – Two grammar checkers, for ensuring this tricky element is in order.

AustralianHelp – An online proofreading tool, to help you catch those little mistakes, mentioned here.

WritingPopulist and ViaWriting – Useful for generating titles, subtitles, and keywords.

BigAssignments and OxEssays – A pair of content formatting tools, an increasingly important area to get right in the digital realm.

  1. Packaged Deals

Paraphernalia, previously a dirty word used by police officers to refer to the trappings that go along with cannabis consumption is now one of the most difficult elements of marketing cannabis products. A lot of cannabis products require you to use a variety of other items to complete the consumption of it. In this instance, it’s also an opportunity for an online company to offer deals where all of the related objects come with the major product, something which is most achievable in an online store.

  1. Mobile Interface

Creating an app is a normal step for a lot of different online stores, but for cannabis companies, it’s a particularly good move. It serves not only as a convenient way for users to shop, given the enormous numbers of mobile users, but also as a hub with all the information that users, people who might be unfamiliar and intrepid at the thought of cannabis consumption, can use to reassure themselves and to find out information and connect with the rest of the userbase for advice and help.

Conclusion

As an emerging market which is guaranteed to increase the more that legalization spreads, cannabis marketing is going to become an extremely important and valuable tool. It presents a unique opportunity for some really innovative digital marketing, as well as a unique set of historical challenges to conquer.

Nora Mork is a marketing and business journalist at Boom Essays and PhD writing service. She helps businesses create effective marketing strategies, and writes blogs at Essay Roo.

 


Ricardo PereydaRicardo PereydaApril 23, 2019
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5min15111

Last Saturday, people all over the world came together to celebrate cannabis culture. In Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom thousands of people peacefully marched in the streets for their right to cannabis, and in South Africa they came together under a banner of love and mutual respect, enjoying fellowship with like-minds. In Los Angeles, I was at the BudTrader Ball.

The big dream used to be getting to Amsterdam for the cannabis cup, where shops like the Grasshopper and Bulldog were on the must visit list. Now, the reality of the situation is, if you want to attend a 4/20 event in a “legal” state, you just find the one closest to you and plan a vacation. As anyone who has ever been to Los Angeles and paid attention to their surroundings knows, there are many dispensaries in the area. The peeps at  BudTrader.com make it their job to let you know where these are at, if you are having difficulty spotting green crosses.

I fully understand that what is described in this article is not reality for everyone reading it. Get involved, vote, and hold politicians accountable. Cannabis policy has crossed the point of no return out of prohibition. In today’s green rush, many cannabis companies are expressing themselves and our culture through events such as those held on 4/20. They go solo, partner with like-minded brands, or reach out to the greater community outside of the cannabis space.

Each of these approaches have merit, and in their own way are impactful, based upon the goals of the company, and the people they serve. This is replicated myriad ways throughout the cannabis empire. In the City of Angels, epicenter of the cannabis industry, the professionals let their hair down for an interactive, art filled event.

The 2019 BudTrader Ball at Wisdome in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District “was an opportunity to meet other high-caliber cannabis industry business people, influencers, and investors in an environment that allowed us to celebrate the cannabis plant.” Said Tim McGraw, CEO of Canna-Hub.

It was an experience like no other I’ve had in the cannabis space to date. The art was exceptional, food delicious, music rocking, and cannabis plentiful. The people weren’t so bad either. I felt good to be in a proper space that was also used by the general public, not isolated from every living thing, and being able to partake in the herb without feeling out of place. It felt, normal.

 

 

 

 


***All photo credits belong to Michael Allen Howard of BudTrader.com except for the final photo which was provided by the author Ricardo Pereyda


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 17, 2019
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6min3210

The cannabis consumer is typically characterized as a “stoner” – a lovable, slacker with no ambition wandering around in a high stupor. So, it’s pretty unusual to read the account of a sober millennial working in one of the biggest cannabis companies in the country.  Jackson D. Tilley’s full-time job is the vice president of strategic partnerships and communications for Organa Brands, a vape company that has sold over $100 million in cannabis products.  Somehow, he has found time to write this book Billion Dollar Dimebag: An Insider’s Account of America’s Legalish Cannabis Industry. 

“The book is being published by Post Hill Press, and will be distributed by Simon & Schuster.” It is available now for pre-orders at www.billiondollardimebag.com and it is a true story of being at the right place and the right time for success in the cannabis industry. Tilly started as an intern at O.penVape in Denver Colorado in 2014 just as the adult use cannabis industry began to take off.

O.pen.VAPE is owned by Organa Brands, which just announced the acquisition by Slang Worldwide (SLNG). By logging long hours, massive amounts of travel and lots of hard work, Tilley rose through the ranks to his current position. The book chronicles the changes in the cannabis industry as the stigma quickly fell away, but also highlights the constant challenges that cannabis companies endured along the way.

“Working in public relations for so long, I’ve become fascinated with the ways in which people absorb content and internally assign meaning to it in their own lives,” said Tilley. “You see a lot of people rallying against our industry, repeating the same talking points they were using decades ago. And then, on the other side, you had people who were totally in favor of legalization but still painting the industry and community as a bunch of burnouts.” Tilley said he was motivated to write the book because his experience within the industry wasn’t something that those outside the industry saw. Primarily – really brilliant people taking risks with their careers to advance the cannabis industry.

Sober In Cannabis

Attend any cannabis event in a fully legal state and you will inevitably be offered the product to consume. Corporate events are  known to give the product away for free in gift bags and cannabis is easily accessible. Imagine being sober in this environment. Tilley said that was another reason why he wrote the book, “I’m sober and gay and work in the cannabis industry and that combination is pretty rare,” he said.

However, ask any person working in corporate cannabis and they will tell you how the hours are long, very long. People will often approach a cannabis executive and suggest how awesome it is to work while getting stoned all day. Many will say, if I got stoned all day I’d never get anything done.  It is close to impossible to build a solid company if you spend the day stoned.

“I think sobriety is becoming a more interesting topic to a new generation of people, and I wanted to develop a piece of writing that really illustrates the notion that you don’t need to consume cannabis to fully support its legalization,” said Tilley.

Why Do You Need This Book?

If you think you don’t belong in the cannabis industry, this book could change your mind. Tilley said he’s hopeful that people will read his book and find that working at a cannabis company isn’t like working for a drug dealer. He believes the book is helpful for people both outside and inside the cannabis industry.

Tilley said, “For me – company culture is everything. If you have solid core values for your organization, and you stick to them at every decision point, you can succeed. You can retain talent. You can make sure everyone is working toward a common goal. You might be able to have a successful company without that culture–but what might it cost?”

According to The Hollywood Reporter Simon & Schuster will distribute in hardcover and e-book format, while Tilley has also struck a deal with Audible for the audio rights to the book with Tilley on board to narrate. The book is expected to hit the shelves on September 17.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerApril 16, 2019
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12min21902

Advertising in the cannabis industry is difficult. In most U.S. states where cannabis is legal, rules regarding cannabis advertising are complicated and extremely restrictive. For example, in California, businesses can only run ads in areas where “71.6 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older.” The advertising landscape online is even far less forgiving. Most online ads platforms, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, explicitly prohibit the advertisement of cannabis products.

In the absence of reasonable advertising regulations for the cannabis industry, many business owners have turned to a new and rapidly growing form of advertisement: Social Media Influencers.

What is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is a person that uses their large social media following (which can range thousands to millions of followers) to promote certain products or services. Outside of the cannabis industry, one of the most successful social media influencers is Kylie Jenner, who companies will often pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for single social media post promoting their product.

Does Influencer Marketing Work?

While some may balk at the idea of paying a person thousands of dollars to promote a product on Instagram, the numbers do not lie – influencer marketing works. Approximately 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. Companies that use influencer marketing earn on average $6.50 for every dollar spent.  By 2020, the influencer market is expected to grow to $10 billion.

Why Are Cannabis Companies Turning to Influencers?

As alluded to earlier, advertising in the cannabis industry is difficult. Not only are advertising regulations for cannabis complex, but also traditional means of advertisements are expensive. Buying ad space on television, radio, or a billboard can cost companies thousands of dollars with little guarantee of success. In contrast, influencer marketing is loosely regulated (for now) and less expensive.

It is also easier to target specific demographics by relying on influencers that appeal to your core audience. Cannabis business owners may not know who is going to view their highway billboard, but they do know what kind of person is going to visit Snoop Dogg’s Instagram page.

Who Are The Leading Cannabis Influencers?

The question of who the cannabis industry’s leading influencers are is a topic for debate. Unlike other industries where the practice more prevalent, influencer marketing in the cannabis industry is still relatively new. Consequently, it is difficult to say who is the “top cannabis influencer.” However, there are at least a few cannabis influencers that stand out from the pack. Here’s five cannabis influencer that have turned their social media following into big business:

Seth Rogen

Comedian Seth Rogen has built a career off of starring in stoner comedies like Pineapple Express and This Is The End, so it is only natural that he would use his talent and fame to spread the word about cannabis. With 6.6 million followers on Instagram, Rogen might not be the world’s most widely followed celebrity, but he has built up a strong and loyal social media following. Hoping to capitalize off of his reputation as a cannabis connoisseur, Rogen and his fried/business partner Evan Goldberg have teamed up with the world’s largest cannabis company, Canopy Growth, to launch a new hemp and cannabis company called Houseplant. Understanding the power of social media, Rogen announced the brand by leaving a cryptic message asking people to follow the Houseplant’s Instagram page.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson at Planet 13 Cannabis Entertainment Complex. (CNW Group/Planet 13 Holdings Inc.)

Not content to be the World Heavy Champion of Boxing, sports legend Mike Tyson has dived headfirst into the cannabis industry. Like Seth Rogen, Tyson has leveraged his fame to turn himself into one of the industry’s leading advocate. Tyson has partnered with the upscale cannabis dispensary Planet 13 to be the exclusive launch partner of his 40-acre cannabis resort, dubbed Tyson Ranch. In addition to Tyson’s 7.6 million Instagram followers, Tyson has a popular cannabis podcast called Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, which has close to 90,000 followers.

“Tyson Ranch, consists of a team with 100+ years of industry experience focusing on quality to make premium cannabis products. We are all about going the extra step to offer truly great cannabis. The Planet 13 Cannabis Entertainment Complex offers customers an ultra-premium cannabis experience that dovetails perfectly with Tyson Ranch’s belief that not all cannabis is created equally,” said Mike Tyson.

Dan Bilzerian

Dan Bilzerian, owner of the cannabis brand Ignite, is perhaps one of the biggest influencers in the cannabis industry. Often a polarizing figure within the industry, Bilzerian’s social media pages are filled with bikini-clad models in various states of undress, exotic locations, and more often than naught firearms. While some may characterize his social media presence as the epitome of toxic masculinity, with more than 26 million followers on Instagram, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t have a strong following.

Bilzerian became one of the world’s most successful professional poker players, winning over $50 million in a single year. Despite not adhering to any social norms — and continuing to be unapologetically himself — he developed a reputation within the gambling community for always doing what he said he would do, a mindset that he’s carried with him into numerous investment opportunities, business ventures, and personal pursuits — creating an empire. Now, he’s dedicated to building a brand in the cannabis industry to live the Ignite lifestyle.

 

Big Mike

Michael Straumietis, also known as Big Mike, is the CEO of the cannabis fertilizer company Advanced Nutrients. Straumietis has built a career off of developing cannabis-specific nutrients and has leveraged that fame into an Instagram following of almost 3 million. Unlike Dan Bilzerian, Straumietis positions himself more as a cannabis thought leader than a globe-trotting playboy.

In 1996, BigMike took $25,000 he’d made from a small illegal grow in Temecula, California, snuck into Canada with a fake passport and built a growing organization 200 people strong. He then used his growing and business expertise to start his company, Advanced Nutrients. Today, Advanced Nutrients is the maker of the #1 selling cannabis-specific nutrient line in the world, with over $110 million a year in sales from 93 countries. Advanced Nutrients also lends seed money to individuals in developing countries who dream of starting a small business, but lack the means to do so. BigMike‘s charity Holiday Heroes feeds over 30 thousand people in need, each Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Charlo Greene

Charlo Greene is a former journalist turned cannabis entrepreneur that gained overnight fame after she announced live on television that she was quitting her job to pursue a career in cannabis. Greene is a somewhat controversial figure in the cannabis industry after running afoul of regulators in Alaska for launching eponymously named Alaska Cannabis Club. With approximately 214,000 followers on Instagram, Greene is what is called a “Micro-Influencer,” which is someone that has a small but dedicated social media following. Nevertheless, Greene has carved out a niche for herself in both the cannabis industry and the wider entrepreneurial community.

 

The world of cannabis influencers may still be new, but it is rapidly developing. Even if cannabis advertising regulations relax over the coming years, don’t expect cannabis influencers to go away. Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful form of advertising, regardless of the industry.

 


StaffStaffApril 15, 2019
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4min3450

The Fresh Toast reported that it has had 11 days of unprecedented traffic with Saturday setting another huge single-day record.   The company’s publisher JJ McKay said that he is expecting a 10-15% increase this month.   “We have rocketed on Alexa, Amazon’s digital tracking service, and surpassed High Times globally as well as maintaining our lead in the US.”

The company stressed that its traffic was organic and not purchased. Some cannabis websites have recently seen their page views plunge as paying for traffic became unsustainable.

PostMedia out of Canada said that The Fresh Toast was their number one cannabis content partner. McKay said that it was the largest mainstream voice in cannabis. “Weedmaps, Leafly and High Times all focus on the stoner/connoisseur – roughly 19% of the market and we have the other 81%,” he said.

Last month the cannabis media company launched an updated, fresh site. McKay said that the company had moved into the dominant consumer and medical marijuana media position in Canada and have laid the framework in the United States. “Once the new site “settled in, it started roaring with traffic,” McKay said, adding that the new platform allowed the company to enhance advertising income and, in April the company would begin posting sponsored content.  “With the updated site, we will be able to take advantage of Apple’s (AAPL) new focus.  Currently, we are a lead cannabis channel on Apple News,” McKay said.

The Fresh Toast stated that from its data sources it strongly appeals to 71% of the market and moderately appeals to another 10%.   “19% of the heavy cannabis users may read us for fun, but maybe not for knowledge,” said McKay. “The flip can be said for the more weed-centric sites like Weedmaps, Leafly, Herb, etc. with them appealing to 19-26% of the market.”

In addition to providing general cannabis news, The Fresh Toast has a partnership with physicians and medical professions and positions the website to be the “medical information source for mainstream physicians and doctor’s offices in the US and Canada” recommended by physicians in clinics and offices around the country.  The Fresh Toast also has a continuum of care for medical marijuana use overseen by a doctor, giving readers a journey from learning about cannabis and their illness, reading patient stories, and ending with how to use the product and where to purchase.

Capital Raise

With equity funding, we will be profitable within a year and highly profitable within two years.  Investors/champions include a former Dan Nordstrom, Carolyn Kelly (former president of the Seattle Times), Glenn Johnson (former EVP/ President Alaska Air Group), Denny Post, and a host of other blue-chip names.  Some investors have chosen to remain private.


StaffStaffApril 1, 2019
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3min5210

High Times Magazine hosted a party in Los Angeles, CA this past Friday evening celebrating the 20 Women of Weed Honorees. The party was held at the Boulevard 3 on Sunset Boulevard and looked to be heavily attended. This year marked the second year for this celebration of women who have made significant contributions to the industry.

Stormy Simon

The evening kicked off with a great speech from Stormy Simon, a previous honoree, followed by a powerful story by Honey Pot Founder Corey Thomas. Thomas told the audience about the challenges and successes of being a long-time cannabis entrepreneur. She also announced that the new rebranding of Honey Pot was finished and the new products would be launched shortly.

Rylie Maedler caused the huge ballroom to come to a hush as she told of her experience using medical marijuana and how it has helped her live a normal life despite having a rare type of debilitating bone tumor disease AGCG and a seizure disorder. A truly inspiring speech from an impressive 13-year old. One that reminded how cannabis can change lives.

Great, music, good food and a beautiful venue made the women in the room feel appreciated and truly special.

This year’s honorees included:

Alison Gordon, CEO of 48North (NRTH)

Amanda Ostrowitz, Founder, CannaRegs

Amanda Reiman, Vice President, Flow Kana

Amy McClintick, Cura

Ann Skalski, Chief Brand Officer, Double Barrel

Cassandra Farrington, Co-founder MJBiz Daily

Cevon Lee Iny, Co-Founder, House of Eden

Corey Thomas, Founder, Honey Pot

Cynthia Salarizadeh, Co-Founder, Chief Strategic Officer, Green Market Media

Debra Borchardt, Co-Founder, CEO of Green Market Report

Beth Stavola, Chief Strategy Officer, iAnthus Capital; CEO, CBD For Life

Emily Paxhia, Co-Founder, Poseidon Asset Management

Ester Vigil, VP Sales

Grace Lahlouh, Ganja Gold

Jackee Stang, VP Programming, High Times Magazine

Jamie Pearson, COO Bhang Corporation

Karson Humiston, Founder and CEO Vangst

Kathleen Thibault, Chief Culture, People Officer

Koala Puffs, Entertainer

Maya Elisabeth, Owner Om Edibles, Whoopi & Maya

Nidhi Lucky Handa, Co-creator LEUNE

Rachel Gillette, Attorney

Raechel White, Director of Brand Marketing Cresco Labs

Rylie Maedler, CEO Rylie’s Sunshine

Green Market Report’s Chief Strategic Officer Cynthia Salarizadeh and Editor-in-Chief Debra Borchardt


StaffStaffMarch 13, 2019
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14min19600

1.) Mattio Communications

Launched in 2005 by Rosie Mattio, Mattio Communications (AKA: Rosie Mattio Public Relations or RMPR), is a full -service communications firm specializing in the cannabis industry, with clients spanning every sector of the trade, including, but not limited to, cultivation, manufacturing, finance, technology and ancillary services. Over the past four years, RMPR has represented some of the most recognized and well-respected brands in the cannabis industry, including: Canndescent, Headset, Papa & Barkley, Flowhub, LeafLink, Caliva, Navy Capital, Seed & Smith, Van der Pop and many more.

Since launching their cannabis-specific unit in 2014, Mattio has secured well over 1,000 media placements in print, digital and broadcast outlets for its clients. An industry favorite, Mattio Communications is recognized as the leading PR firm for cannabis brands and is directly responsible for cultivating the image for some of the most dominate names throughout the industry.

2.) ICR

Established in 1998, ICR partners with companies to execute strategic communications and advisory programs that achieve business goals, build awareness and credibility, and enhance long-term enterprise value. The firm’s highly-differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, brings deep sector knowledge and relationships to more than 650 clients in approximately 20 industries. ICR’s healthcare practice operates under the Westwicke brand (www.westwicke.com). Today, ICR is one of the largest and most experienced independent communications and advisory firms in North America, maintaining offices in New York, Norwalk, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego and Beijing. ICR also advises on capital markets transactions through ICR Capital, LLC. Learn more atwww.icrinc.com.

Some of the impressive multi-state operators, manufacturers and distribution companies that ICR stakes claim to are recognized as the largest companies in the industry. These names include Tilray, Aphria, TILT Holdings, CV Sciences, Flowr, Greenlane, Growpacker, and Hydrofarm.

3.) GVM Communications

GVM Communications, Inc. is a woman minority-owned public relations, branding and business development firm. Launched in 2012, led by Founder and CEO, Gia Morón, the company’s client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profits, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity influencers across multi-disciplined industries. GVM Communications expanded into the cannabis space in 2015, and has since worked with clients such as Women Grow, Viridian Capital Advisors, Simply Pure, Tikun Olam, Ilera Healthcare and more. Overseeing the PR efforts for one of the longest running parades in the country the “New York City Cannabis Parade.” Gia and expert team – who have over 60 years of combined experience – have partnered with industry conferences to identify top talent to diversify speaker representation. The firm has been credited by its clients for its first-rate approach for crisis managment and was coined the “client whisper”. In addition, Gia and her team have work with higher education universities to bring cannabis business education events, worked closely with advocacy groups to leading groundbreaking industry events at state buildings to faith based organizations. GVM Communications represents many of the leading voices in the cannabis industry today. Currently the team is working on expanding its communications platform into publishing and multimedia. The team just signed with a small group focused on CBD products and sports fitness.

The powerful list of current leading clients include Women Grow, Ilera Healthcare, National Holistic, Simply Pure/Cannabis Global Initiative and Viola Brands. Clients that GVM has worked with in the past include CWCBE, Yale School of Business on Business of Legal Cannabis 2018, Viridian Capital Advisors, and the Emmanuel Baptist Church, The Business of Cannabis Summit 2019.

4.) KCSA Strategic Communications

KCSA is a fully integrated, partner-owned, communications agency specializing in public relations, shareholder communications and social media, with expertise in cannabis, financial and professional services, technology, healthcare, digital media and energy. Since 1969, the firm has demonstrated strategic thinking and program execution that drives results for its clients in the ever-changing communications and digital landscape. The company was recently included in the “2018 CBE Ancillary Business 155” list by Cannabis Business Executive, an integrated business to business media company serving the cannabis and hemp industries. KCSA’s cannabis practice has been representing companies in the cannabis industry for more than five years. Clients span the entire supply chain from companies that grow the plant, process it and dispense it, to companies that provide consulting services, financial services and even ancillary products such as lighting, nutrients and packaging

In 2017, KCSA launched The Green Rush, a podcast about cannabis, the capital markets and culture. On a weekly basis hosts Lewis Goldberg and Anne Donohoe from KCSA Strategic Communications, speak with the CEOs, Regulators, Legislators and Cultural Icons pushing the cannabis industry forward.
To date we have interviewed some of the most powerful people in the business including:
• Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
• Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth
• Ziggy Marley, Grammy award winner
• Ricki Lake, actress, activist and documentarian
• George Allen, President of Acreage Holdings
• Tim Seymour, CNBC
• Marvin Washington, former NFL player and cannabis investor

In 2018 KCSA acquired the leading cannabis and hemp PR firm Salar Media Group. KCSA is responsible for one of the largest PR campaign efforts surrounding the 2019 Super Bowl with Acreage Holdings. Some of their clients include KushCo Holdings, Acreage Holdings, Terra Tech, iAnthus, Aurora Cannabis and MJ Freeway. In the past the have represented such brands as The Emerald Cup, Vangst and Curaleaf.

5.) Nison Co

NisonCo has a proven track record of successful political advocacy and policy change supporting the legalization of marijuana and other causes. With over 3,300 active media contacts at over 2,900 outlets, NisonCo is one of the best cannabis industry PR firms, with an unmatched network of relationships with mainstream media, industry specific media, product reviewers, and thought leaders from around the country.

Evan Nison, founder & chief executive officer of Nison Co. He is the youngest member of the board of NORML, and sits on the Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In 2016 he helped launch Whoopi & Maya, a women-centric medical cannabis company with actress Whoopi Goldberg and edible maker Maya Elisabeth and currently acts as its chief financial officer.

Nison Co. agency has grown to well over 30 clients in cannabis, some of which include Bluebird Botanicals, Ardent, MoneyTrac, Brightfield Group, Headcount, Terra Tech, Nexien BioPharma and Civilized Media.

6.) Grasslands Agency

Grasslands is a full-service boutique agency working with clients in highly regulated industries. A nimble 10-person firm with offices in Denver and Los Angeles, Grasslands specializes in best-in-class Public Relations, Content Marketing, Social Media, Thought Leadership work, Newsletter Campaigns, Book Development and Event Execution for businesses and brands. Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca, a 20-year newspaper veteran, has built a seasoned team with more than six decades of top-level journalism experience at outlets including Men’s Health, The Denver Post, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Beast and Wonkette—and PR experience with clients including IKEA North America, K12 Inc., REI, Dupage Medical Group, Fisher-Price and Emeril Lagasse (bam!). Grasslands has a deep bench of experience supporting clients through product launches, acquisitions and IPOs, crisis management and capital funding initiatives. Grasslands works with businesses in cannabis, hemp, traditional healthcare, technology and other highly regulated industries and is proud to count Willie’s Reserve, Cliintel Capital Management Group, Coda Signature, General Cannabis and others among its roster of clients. Find out more: mygrasslands.com

7.) The Rosen Group

After a stint in Washington, DC handling policy communications, Lori Rosen founded Rosen Group in New York City. For over three decades the agency has had success handling thought leadership campaigns for industry associations in alternative energy; embracing the tech boom with digital and tech launches and more recently establishing a budding cannabis practice, beginning in 2013 when Colorado became a legal market. Headquartered in New York City, with a 16-person team of media savvy professionals, Rosen Group has had offices in Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, DC over the years. Today, Rosen Group represents a number of cannabis clients including Nug in Oakland, CA; Azuca in New York, and HEALTH (Hawaiʻi Educational Association for Therapeutic Healthcare), for a campaign to allow out-of-state patients legal access to medical cannabis dispensaries while visiting the island.

8.) Maverick PR

Maverick Public Relations’ mission is to provide big agency expertise with outstanding client service by a seasoned and knowledgeable communications expert. Maverick PR was established by Shawna Seldon McGregor in 2018 after two decades at communications agencies in New York City and Denver. McGregor’s cannabis and hemp experience are unparalleled, working from the inception of adult-use in Colorado to bring cannabis messaging to the national stage and working closely with national and trade reporters as well as infiltrating specific emerging markets to educate and convey critical narratives. She has represented the biggest brands in the industry, including Wana Brands, L’Eagle Services, ebbu, Good Chemistry, L’eela CBD Body Care, Fortis Law Partners, Elevate Hemp and Verra Wellness, among others.

Maverick PR has deep experience representing a multitude of sectors including the regulated cannabis industry, biotech, agribusiness, sustainable technologies, renewable energy, associations and media companies. Offerings include public relations, media training, investor relations, content development, thought leadership development, speaking engagements and response strategy/crisis management.

9.) Ingrid Marketing

Ingrid is a full service, award winning, PR firm deeply embedded in the cannabis industry. Founded in 2015, Ingrid creates brand recognition, and strategically guides and supports the people building the cannabis industry’s future. Clients include PLUS Products, PHILTER Labs, Kadin Academy and Cannabiz Connection.

Ingrid clients are covered by top-tier, mainstream-media outlets including ABC-TV, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, New York Times, Time Magazine, USAToday and The Wall Street Journal, and in target-right news outlets like Leafly, High Times, DOPE, Civilized, MSNBC.com, and TechCrunch.

10.) Cannabrand

Cannabrand is an award-winning, full-service marketing agency and the first to specialize in the cannabis industry. The team has played an integral role in helping cannabis businesses across the United States develop their brand identities, increase their marketshare, and appeal to emerging markets. They work with companies ranging from B2C dispensaries and mobile applications, to B2B cultivation facility operations and wholesale markets.

The agency has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg Business, The Atlantic, Fortune, and Elle Magazine and has been praised by the American Marketing Association. PRWeek named co-founder Olivia Mannix the top 50 Public Relations Innovators of 2015. The agency brings their expertise in cannabis products, cconsumer insights, and the unique cannabis marketing laws and regulations to its clients on a national scale. Cannabrand has helped over 100 cannabis businesses intimately connect with their desired markets, and has been established as a leading voice in the normalization of cannabis. Some of the names that Cannabrand has worked with in the past include Women Grow, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, Caliva, Vangst Talent, Verde, and Gold Flora.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJanuary 31, 2019
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The Super Bowl would probably prefer to not have anything to do with cannabis, but the cannabis industry and football are destined to work together. Whether it’s the rejected Super Bowl ad from Acreage Holdings Inc. (ACRG.U) or dispensaries running super bowl promotions the two keep crossing paths. Plus, there is the issue of cannabis being used to treat former players who suffer from head injuries.

The NFL even found itself mentioned in the Pennsylvania Auditor General report saying, “ In 2018, the NFL rejected an unprecedented therapeutic-use exemption request from running back Mike James, a free agent who sought medical marijuana treatment to break a dependence on opioids. If players’ access to medical marijuana is going to be compromised, legalizing marijuana altogether would make it unnecessary to threaten Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers players with suspension, fines, and banishment from the league over its use.”

The report went on to note that its cherished Philadelphia Eagles could be hurt by if players sought to live in states where cannabis is legal in order to treat themselves.  “As marijuana is legalized in other states, it could incentivize athletes — who literally injure themselves for our entertainment — to seek to be traded to states where they can legally access pain management and do not have to wait for exemptions to stay off opioids.

Brady Cobb is a medical cannabis pioneer and the CEO of SOL Global– which is currently in the middle of a five-year study at the University of Miami on how CBD can help treat concussions. He said, “The NFL is holding onto this long-held association between cannabis and Reefer Madness. It’s been only recently, with newly enacted legislation, that the public and companies are recognizing the difference between the non-psychoactive medical properties of CBD and the mind-altering effects of THC. With the farm bill’s passage, I think it’s only a matter of time that the NFL catches up to the NHL and other sports leagues that realize the real potential of the healing benefits of CBD.

He noted that the players and the players’ association all support looking into and researching the effects of using cannabis and CBD in treatment. When asked about CBS rejecting the proposed ad which only showed patients discussing how medical marijuana helped them he said, “CBS’s position is clearly completely at odds with the public’s position. A recent Gallup poll shows that the public supports cannabis upwards of 66% to 67%. So six out of ten people watching the super bowl – if not more, considering the demographic – could ultimately be a consumer of the products.”

The issue of cannabis advertising during football only looks to be getting more attention versus dwindling away. “With the increasing efforts to legalize cannabis products for both medical and recreational use, advertising standards and practices are coming rapidly into focus,” said Deb Gabor, CEO of Sol Marketing. “While CBS snubbed an ad for medical marijuana during the Superbowl — they did consider it. The mere fact that the network considered an ad for cannabis shows that we’ve turned a corner, and we’re going to see advertising and branding for these products come rapidly into the mainstream.” Gabor is the author of the new book, releasing nationwide March 2019 titled, Irrational Loyalty: Building a Brand That Thrives in Turbulent Times.

Gabor noted that the cannabis industry has been working hard to overcome stereotypes and change perceptions of the culture of marijuana usage. “Advertising to large audiences like those watching the Super Bowl — and getting in on the PR value of Super Bowl advertising — is one tactic in kickstarting a perceptual change,” she said.

Even though CBS has refused the ad, the stadium doesn’t seem to have as big of a problem. A CBD-infused coffee and will be allowed during the game at the stadium in Atlanta. “While this is not technically a Super Bowl commercial, this is a sponsorship activation, which is designed to engage audiences in a more experiential fashion. While it’s unclear to me what CBS’ advertising policy says, and whether this would constitute a violation of that, I’m sure that CBS is concerned about this from the perspective of wanting to manage their OWN brand as a media company,” added Gabor.

While the experts debate the ability to run a medical marijuana ad, dispensaries have no problem capitalizing on the event for sales. Some companies are suggesting added their CBD tinctures to recipes like salsa and others suggest drinking cannabis-infused beverages instead of alcohol. “Cannabis sales leaped 40% last year on the Saturday before the big game and this year could rise even higher thanks to California’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana,” said cannabis software company Green Bits.

In Washington, Mt. Hood Cannabis Company will deliver a free cheese or pepperoni pizza with the purchase and delivery of any half-ounce of pot Feb 1st, 2nd, and 3rd over the big Game Day weekend.

“We were enjoying a joint and a slice of Mogul Mountain pizza while brainstorming marketing opportunities for our dispensary when it hit us. Let’s announce our new weed delivery with free pizza, and what better way to kick it off than over Super Bowl weekend. Our shop works really hard to engage the local business community and since their pizza was so inspirational, partnering with Mogul Mountain Pizza was a no brainer,” said Devin Houston, Director of Marketing, Mt. Hood Cannabis Company.

 

 

 



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