KCSA Strategic Communications Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffFebruary 18, 2020
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45min32791

The cannabis industry is one of the most unique and restricted industries in general, but when it comes to advertising, marketing and public relations, it stands alone in its capabilities and the landscape in which to operate. 

The keys to any good marketing or PR campaign in cannabis, since advertising is still almost completely illegal to even engage, are creativity, understanding the laws, and relationships. If you have never worked in PR for the cannabis industry, and made the transition into it, you would know there is a learning curve that requires time. No matter how big, long standing or respected a firm may be, it will take 6-12 months to figure out how to navigate the cannabis terrain. 

Unfortunately, many brands and companies will go and hire the most expensive PR firm in the world, only to find out 3-6 months in, that they would have received 20 times more coverage if they would have gone with a firm that has a sole, or major, focus on cannabis for no less than a year. Making the mistake leads to a lot of wasted time and money, which in the cannabis industry as well as any other, are too valuable and can be avoided. 

For the second year in row, the team at the Green Market Report has evaluated the most effective public relations firms available to the industry that embody the experience, relationships and compliance know-how to garner your company’s desired press coverage and message management better than anyone else. 

Each one of these firms have been vetted and yield proven results for their clients. We have carefully selected the teams that we would recommend to any cannabis brand, personality or public company. Some of the firms have specialties with brands, whether it be sustainable farming or extraction, or specifically with luxury positioning, and some specifically specialize in financial markets.

Before selecting any PR firm in any situation, you should always review and interview no less than 3 to 5 thoroughly. Chemistry between your team and theirs is incredibly important. So, take your time and find the right fit. 

We hope that this list can help you and your team find the best cannabis focused PR firm that can achieve your goals most effectively. 

Here is the 2020 Green Market Report list of the Top 12 Most Effective Cannabis PR Firms:

 

1.) ICR Strategic Communications & Advisory:

Mission Statement: Provide strategic communications for business leaders to achieve business goals, build awareness and credibility, and enhance long-term enterprise value.

About ICR Strategic Communications & Advisory: 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. ICR’s cannabis practice leverages the firm’s highly-differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, bringing deep sector knowledge and relationships to its clients.  ICR’s roster of cannabis clients include, Tilray, Aphria, Aurora, Hexo, Hydrofarm, Neptune Wellness Solutions, CV Sciences, Weedmaps, Medicine Man Technologies and Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp.  During the past two years, ICR’s cannabis team has helped its clients navigate several go-public transactions, M&A, capital raises and special situations, while also providing ongoing, integrated investor relations and public relations services to raise awareness, visibility and understanding of their long-term growth strategy.

2.) MATTIO Communications:

Mission Statement: MATTIO creates brand leaders by using our well-honed communication skills, industry knowledge and creative muscle to drive conversations, shape perceptions and help our clients achieve ambitious business goals.

About MATTIO CommunicationsMATTIO Communications was founded by Rosie Mattio in 2005 and is one of the longest running and largest marketing firms in the cannabis space. The company has supported the industry and grown up alongside it, working to normalize perceptions and remove the stigma surrounding cannabis. In fact, the firm placed the first cannabis article ever to appear in both Vogue and Oprah Magazine! At the core of MATTIO’s success is a simple principle: Rosie and her team prioritize delivering substantial, meaningful results. In 2019 alone, MATTIO secured over 3,000 placements for its clients, translating into over 100 billion UVMs.

MATTIO represents some of the best known brands in every sector of the cannabis industry, including Canndescent, Harborside, Papa & Barkley, Headset, LeafLink, PathogenDx and CannaSafe. Despite doubling its client roster over the past year, MATTIO prides itself on maintaining a close working relationship with clients, modeling itself as an extension of their internal marketing and strategy teams. Over the past year, the company has expanded its capabilities, adding investor relations, SEO, programmatic, social media and influencer marketing to better serve and represent clients.

In 2019, the company was ranked on Green Entrepreneur’s Top 100 Cannabis Companies and awarded MG Magazine’s Best Workplaces. Rosie Mattio was also named one of Forbes Fifteen Powerful And Innovative Women In Cannabis and received a High Times Female 50 award.

3.) CMW Media:

Mission Statement: CMW Media’s mission is to help share meaningful messages worldwide. We aim to catapult industry innovators to become household names and implement innovative public relations campaigns that lead to positive legislative and systematic changes. In addition to servicing our clients to the highest standard and becoming an extension of their marketing teams, we aim to be a leading media resource of cannabis, technology and healthcare information for print, broadcast and online journalists.

About CMW MediaEstablished in 2014, CMW Media is a full-service public relations and marketing agency for emerging markets industries including cannabis, sustainable energy, technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and psychedelics. The company’s management team has more than 50 years of combined experience and brings a unique blend of knowledge from a variety of backgrounds including journalism, internal communications, agency, and in-house.
CMW Media Founder and CEO Andrew Hard is a Fox News veteran and two-time Neal Award-Winning journalist who started the agency to help share powerful messages about how cannabis was positively changing lives across the globe. Many of CMW Media’s founding campaigns were based upon a series of strategic non-profit efforts, telling the stories of children who were suffering from a number of debilitating diseases and disorders who got a second chance at life because of cannabidiol (CBD). Traveling the globe to meet with these families and film their stories was CMW Media’s Creative Director Jordan Guzzardo, a two-time Emmy Award-Winning videographer. These stories helped, and continue to help, those who are brainwashed by the War on Drugs understand CBD’s many wellness benefits. In addition, Andrew Hard spearheaded media relations efforts that led to the legalization of CBD product imports in Mexico, as well as the legalization and government subsidization of CBD products in Brazil.

Since its inception, CMW Media has expanded its services beyond public and media relations to include digital and email marketing, social media, video production, brand development, web design, PPC campaigns and e-commerce management. Specializing in publicly-traded companies, CMW Media helps companies convey their value to shareholders and investors alike by promoting financial reports, drafting shareholder letters and call scripts, aligning investor relations strategy with media outreach and creating attractive, easy-to-navigate pitch decks. The agency also boasts impressive creative offerings and its own professional photography studio in its downtown San Diego office where expert media training, headshots, promotional video and product photography can all be handled in-house.

From seed to sale, CMW Media represents both ancillary and plant-touching businesses in the cannabis industry in more than 20 countries. The agency’s current cannabis clients include Medical Marijuana, Inc., Tilt Holdings, Bhang, Inc., Sparx Cannabis, Hemp, Inc., Axim Biotechnologies, Kannalife, Inc., Ecogen Laboratories, and Emerald Scientific, among others. In 2020, CMW Media was listed among the top 10 PR agencies in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal.

4.) KCSA Strategic Communications:

KCSA Mission Statement: We Inform, Influence and Inspire.

At KCSA Strategic Communications, we deliver high-impact corporate visibility that supports sales, attracts capital, builds shareholder value and communicates to current and potential employees.

About KCSA Strategic CommunicationsKCSA Strategic Communications, an integrated strategic communications firm specializing in public relations, investor relations and social media, celebrated its 50th Anniversary in September of 2019. Along with the anniversary celebrations came a “KCSA brand” refresh, updating its acronym to “Knowledge. Creativity. Strategy. Advocacy.” KCSA also experienced exceptional growth with an increase in revenue of 35 percent and more than 25 new executive hires in 2019.

KCSA is one of the only independently-owned communications consultancies and brings these offerings to bear through integrated, business-to-business campaigns. With vertical expertise in financial services, healthcare, tech, and for the last six-plus years, KCSA has become the most well-known integrated corporate cannabis communications firms. KCSA works with its clients – which range from high-growth startups to mid-cap publicly traded companies – to communicate to their most important stakeholders, build their brands and support their sales efforts.

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.

In 2018 KCSA acquired leading cannabis and hemp PR firm Salar Media Group. Some of their current and past cannabis clients include public companies such as Acreage Holdings, KushCo Holdings, Terra Tech, iAnthus, Curaleaf, Aurora Cannabis and Akerna as well as industry leaders such as The Emerald Cup, Vangst, and High Times Holdings.

KCSA’s cannabis highlights include:

  • KCSA Cannabis Investor Survey – KCSA released two investor surveys in 2019 resulting in coverage in Investor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg, Benzinga, Marijuana Today, Green Market Report, MG and IR Magazine. This survey puts KCSA front and center in providing key, branded market intelligence in order to better understand the cannabis investor.
  • KCSA was named to mg Magazine’s 2019 list of Top 50 Cannabis Employers
  • KCSA was ranked as a top M&A PR Advisory Firm by The Deal

  • KCSA was named one of the most Powerful PR Firms of 2019 by the Observer

  • KCSA’s management team was featured on a number of panels and keynotes including: Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference, The Green Market Summit, Cannabis World Congress, NCIA Seed-to-Sale, NCIA Northeast Cannabis Business Conference and OTC Cannabis Day. 
  • Through its partnership with the OTCMarkets, KCSA hosts the Virtual Investor Conferences, the industry’s foremost online investor conference series that provides a unique, interactive forum for publicly-traded cannabis companies to meet and present directly with investors.
  • To date, KCSA has hosted seven conferences, with more than 35,000 attendees. KCSA hosted the inaugural Congressional Cannabis Day Forum in coordination with The Cannabis Caucus at the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC on May 21, 2019. 
  • KCSA’s flagship podcast, The Green Rush, hit 100,000 downloads in February 2020!

5.) Rosen Group:

Mission Statement: Rosen Group is committed to providing high-quality, strategic public relations services by integrating innovative approaches with tried-and-true methods that translate directly to clients’ objectives for their bottom lines. We understand that the best relationships are seamless. Rosen Group integrates itself as its clients’ full-fledged partner, communicating closely with their internal teams to customize PR programs and to maximize efficiency. Our goal is to achieve results that exceed clients’ expectations. Moving beyond the traditional media relations role, Rosen Group is a consultant and sounding board for its partners, executing insightful and detail-oriented client campaigns.

About Rosen Group: What do you get when you combine old school values, contemporary thinking, New York moxie, deep-rooted cannabis experience and a best-in-class professional team? Meet Rosen Group, a 360-degree public relations agency headquartered in Manhattan, with more than three decades of experience cultivating regional and national awareness for clients through targeted media outreach, innovative programs and a nimbleness to move with the rapidly evolving media landscape. Our focus may be on the green market, but our savvy team is far from green when it comes to our breadth of knowledge and capabilities.  

Rosen Group has strong roots in business, advertising, legal, media and entrepreneurial sectors, while our cannabis experience is unparalleled. The firm has worked since the inception of adult-use in Colorado to bring cannabis messaging to the national stage.

The agency has worked with vertically integrated companies, products, consultants and others to expand into emerging markets while educating target audiences and conveying critical narratives. Past and current cannabis clients include NUG, Vertosa, Azuca, Keef Brands, Wana Brands, Nanosphere, Cannabis Business Alliance, TheWeedTube and MMJ Business Academy, among others. In the ever-transforming cannabis market, we foster creativity, innovation and growth to both client and media relations.

Rosen Group clients receive customized, personal service and strategic initiatives specific to their objectives that are executed through broad-spectrum public relations campaigns to maximize coverage. Press placements span print, digital and broadcast, from leading cannabis trades such as Green Entrepreneur and Marijuana Business Magazine, to mainstream general interest, news and business outlets such as Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Rolling Stone and Forbes. The firm also highlights each of our clients’ presence and establishes thought-leadership opportunities by “newsjacking” on industry trends, drafting and securing placements for bylined articles, as well as generating speaking opportunities at prominent industry conferences, including NCIA, Engage for Good 2020, Bev Net Events Cannabis Forum, and MJ Biz Con International.

How does Rosen Group move the needle forward in the ever-transformative canna-communications industry? With key accomplishments such as:

  • Brand equity for social equity – Spearheading brand awareness for NUG’s significant role in the Oakland, California, social equity program, including engaging with city officials and generating earned media placements in noteworthy regional and national outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Cannabis Now Magazine and Comedy Central’s “Klepper” show.
  • From 0 to 360 – Blooming from an idea for a water-friendly cannabinoid infusion process, Rosen Group played an integral part in the successful launch and growth of culinary-driven edibles brand Azuca. From establishing the company’s now industry-known name to supporting its product partnerships and expansion initiatives in both the consumer and B2B markets, Rosen Group continues to be an intrinsic collaborator in each part of the process to align Azuca with the top media movers and shakers in the industry.

6.) GVM Communications:

Mission Statement: Great Visions and Minds Communicating

About GVM CommunicationsGia is the Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc. a public relations, brand & business development consulting firm which launched in 2012. GVM Communications Inc. has a core team that consists of Tracey Henry the Lead Public Relations Strategist (aka “Media Pitch Master”), Alicia A. Brown the Director of Client Relations (aka “The Client Whisper”) and N’Dia Dugue the Social Media Maven (aka The Millennial Connect), GVM also engages a team of consultants & freelancers demonstrating talents and skills in an array of industries: Arts, Education, Financial Services, Diversity & Inclusion, Publishing, Sports & Entertainment, Technology, and Wellness. In 2015, the firm expanded its services into the cannabis industry. GVM Communication, Inc. is currently regarded as one of the top 10 firms in the country specializing in cannabis & hemp. 

Although, increasingly renowned, within the cannabis & hemp space. GVM Communication, Inc. remains equally vested in diverse markets of business ranging from: (Non-Profits, privately owned to Publicly traded Fortune 500 companies. The firm has a client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients). 

The GVM team has cumulatively with over 60+ years of experience. Gia is also the President of Women Grow and come with extensive experience from Goldman Sachs Group Inc as Media Relations Officer and the Fremantle Corporation as Director of Promotions & Publicity, while her team Tracey Henry is a cannabis media expert CEO of THC Tracey Henry Consulting & Type A Media and has extensive experience in politics, hospitality, health & wellness; Alicia Brown is a master of the 4’P’s (People, Product, Processes & Partners) and has leveraged her superpowers on behalf companies like; General Motors & W. W. Grainger and has an extensive background in Marketing & Business Development in (publishing, entertainment, and food & beverage); N’Dia Dugue  has worked with the One/35 Agency which specializes in targeting multicultural consumers and business professionals with clients such as Google, Oprah Winfrey Network, Fox Broadcasting Co. and A’24’s moonlight. 

Gia is a board member of the following organization’s Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM, Advisory Board member of Cannabis World Congress Business Expo, Coalition Member of Start-SMART New York and founder of the New York Cannabis & Hemp Trade Association. Equally compelling, Gia mentors enterprising young women entrepreneurs across the country and intercontinental in countries like South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY.

7.) 5W Public Relations:

Mission Statement: Resourceful, innovative, and nimble, 5W works hard, thinks big, and delivers successful results.

About 5W Public RelationsFounded by Ronn Torossian in 2003 in one-room, with one intern, and three clients, 5W Public Relations today employs 175 professionals, taking up two entire floors in the iconic Helmsley Building. In 2019, 5W grew 3.1% and reported record-breaking revenue of $36.4M. The Beauty and Health practices exploded, boasting 19.5% and 28.4% increases in revenue YoY, respectively and the Cannabis division skyrocketed from zero to revenue of $1.7M in just one year onboarding nearly 20 clients in the space.

5W has an expert ability to narrate the stories of emerging brands and launch them into mainstream fame. 5W equips clients with the necessary knowledge, innovation and creativity to achieve top-tier engagement and drive growth-oriented results in an ever-changing world. The firm and its employees understand this is a “defining moment” for cannabis and has maximized its presence while the industry is hot; and for this reason, the Firm’s speed in capitalizing on this moment is coupled by real time analysis of every possible scenario prior to taking action.

5W is dedicated to cannabis, because the Firm believes in the future of the industry and understands that the health and wellness benefits of cannabis have the potential to not only change a life, but the course of history. The passion and focus the Firm has on the industry means that it is up to date with all relevant legislation, trends and new players on the scene.5W drives this awareness and perception by breaking down barriers and ideating impactful stories to an unmatched network of outlets.

5W now services roughly 260 clients at any given time including world-class brands like SAP, L’Oreal, Topps, Sparkling Ice, Santa Margherita, Careerbuilder and SodaStream as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies, six members of the Forbes 400, hedge funds, and four technology unicorns including N26, Payoneer, AvidXchange and ironSouce. The firms notable Cannabis clients include CBDistillery, a Balanced Health Botanicals Brand and the number one online retailer of hemp-derived CBD products; Cannabiniers, leaders in smoke-free cannabis consumption brands with products such as Two Roots, Creative Waters, and Just Society; NABIS Holdings, leading investment company focused on multiple aspects of the cannabis sector; KOI CBD; Bluebird Botanicals; Ionic Brands, national cannabis holding company focused on building consumer brands; and canafarma, a hemp investment company involved in growing, processing and product development including Yooforic, hemp oil infused chewing gum.

8.) Grasslands Agency:

Mission Statement: Grasslands’ seasoned team—well-versed and legit experienced in all sides of the public relations / communications / media paradigm—employs the ethical standards we learned in Pulitzer-winning newsrooms to provide world-class content and media-savvy public relations services that helps our clients grow their businesses. We are proud to work exclusively with businesses and organizations that align with our agency values of inclusivity, compassion and dignity; engage openly with their communities and customers; practice transparency in their business relationships; and respect the important contributions of journalists and the news media. Our communications philosophy is centered on a journalism-minded, Aristotle-modeled approach to content creation, marketing, public relations, branding, social media management, events and more. That means using only vetted information, distributing professionally written copy, getting things right the first time, listening actively to our clients and media partners, and thriving on tough deadlines. At Grasslands, we put our clients’ brands, executives and messaging front and center in broadcast, online, print, podcast and social media.

About Grasslands AgencyGrasslands is a full-service boutique communications agency working with clients in highly regulated industries—including marijuana and hemp—specializing in public relations, content marketing and thought leadership work. Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca, a 25-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, Seventeen, The Daily Beast and Wonkette—and PR experience with clients including Twitter, Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated, Ulta Beauty, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Whirlpool. Grasslands has a deep bench of experience supporting clients through product launches and rebranding efforts, acquisitions and IPOs, crisis management and capital funding initiatives.

Two Accomplishments to Highlight

  • Supported client ebbu through a major pivot, and elevated the brand and its executives via a global communications strategy—leading up to the brand being acquired by Canopy Growth in fall 2018. In the year-plus leading up to the acquisition, Grasslands managed ebbu’s public relations, thought leadership program (including speaking engagements and contributed columns), weekly blog and other content marketing projects.
  • Created and produced a multi-panel event, The (Complicated) Future of Cannabis Media. Panel discussions covered the future of cannabis journalism, spanning the influential microcosm of Instagram influencers to the important role of the mainstream media. Panelists included: Katie Foody of the Associated Press’ cannabis team; Lee Ann Colacioppo, editor-in-chief of The Denver Post; Chris Walsh, president and founding editor of Marijuana Business Daily; and Jonathan Rose, associate editor of The Denver Business Journal. The panel drew more than 125 attendees and sold out the Denver Press Club, which also happens to be one of Grasslands’ pro bono clients.

Awards & Acknowledgements

  • Ricardo Baca named AdCann Marketer of the Year 2018
  • Cannabis Tech & Today named Grasslands Founder & CEO Ricardo Baca as one of the top 25 cannabis innovators of 2020
  • Ricardo Baca is a two-time veteran of the TEDx stage (TEDx Boulder in 2018; TEDx Marin in 2019)
  • Grasslands named as one of the top 10 Most Effective Cannabis PR Firms 2019 by Green Market Report

Clients to Highlight

  • Willie Nelson’s suite of cannabis brands, including Willie’s Reserve, Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Rescue
  • City and County of Denver
  • National Cannabis Industry Association
  • Medicine Man Technologies
  • SLANG Worldwide (a.k.a. the joint venture between Canopy Growth and OrganaBrands)

Agency Milestones

  • Raised more than $5,000 for nonprofits specializing in progressive drug policy reform (Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Last Prisoner Project), global human rights (Human Rights Watch), continued medical research (MAPS) and media organizations (Colorado Public Radio News, Propublica, The Marshall Project).
  • Without outside investment, scaled agency to 13 full-time colleagues and 10-plus subcontractors—and purchased a $1.2-million agency headquarters in central Denver—in first three years of operation.
  • Created, produced and launched Destigmatized, a 120-episode Instagram TV docuseries documenting America’s ever-transforming relationship with the cannabis plant.

9.) Nison Co:

Mission Statement: NisonCo is the oldest and largest cannabis, CBD, and hemp-specific PR firm and has worked with over 125 cannabis companies. Established in 2013, our mission is to build trusting relationships with members of the media in order to advance inclusive and sustainable social policies, while ethically monetizing our influence.

About Nison CoNisonCo is rated as a top cannabis PR company that can get and keep your company in the news through an unmatched network of cannabis industry leaders, reporters, product reviewers, and social media influencers. We have developed over 4,000 active relationships with reporters and reviewers who cover cannabis and related products, including CBD, from nearly every major outlet across the country. Our team of over 20 employees is made up of experts in specific niches of the industry, and are passionate about maintaining a positive image for the industry. Our hyper-attentive approach generates fast results, while our campaigns are backed by strategy and data. In addition to our ability to get you in the news, we have social media experts, bloggers, content writers, marketers, and SEO consultants in-house ready to get you and your brand maximum exposure.

Since 2013, NisonCo has worked with over 125 cannabis companies including Brightfield Group, Cannabis Voter Project, and Verano/Harvest, which helped to establish ourselves as a go-to source for reporters who cover the legal and medical cannabis industries. We use our active relationships with journalists to promote innovation, sustainability, and thought leadership for companies such as covering the front lines of the 2019 vape crisis, leading tech innovation trends and assisting new product rollouts, to normalizing the spread of CBD nationwide. For our work we’ve been recognized in articles such as The Observer’s PR Power List Cannabis Honor Roll of 2019 and Green Market Report’s Top 10 Most Effective Cannabis PR Firms 2019. In recent years we’ve continued to grow to remain the largest cannabis specific public relations firm and at the request of our clients we’ve expanded our service offerings to other things we do really well, like content marketing and SEO.

10.) Coppertop Media Relations:

Mission Statement: Coppertop Media Relations strives to work with good actors that make an impact in their local communities and the greater global cannabis industry. It prides itself on being a leading industry resource for partnering cannabis brands and professionals with opportunities, ranging from national media placements to collaborative ventures.

About Coppertop Media Relations:

Coppertop Media Relations is a full-service communications firm, established in 1995. Led by its founder, Jim Walsh, and Bruce Dunbar, an accomplished communications executive, the Firm has focused on the legal cannabis industry globally since 2016.  Coppertop works with top brands and with clients spanning every sector in cannabis: cultivation, manufacturing, technology, distribution, financial and ancillary services. Specializing in media relations, financial and crisis communications and thought leadership, Coppertop brings extensive media connections, an understanding of the brands, consumers and structure of the industry, as well as deep financial and consumer communications experience to the table.

Over the last four years, Coppertop has represented some of the most respected and established brands in the industry, including Bloom Farms, CannaCraft (Absolute Extracts, Care by Design, Satori Chocolates), Flowr,  iCan CannaTech, Project CBD, Puffco, and Scotts Miracle-Gro.

11.) Lola Red:

Mission Statement: Amplify Greatness

About Lola RedLola Red is a dynamic, integrated PR, social and digital agency located in Minneapolis and Denver. Founded by Alexis Walsko in 2002, the agency was rooted on results and service with the spirit and strategy to help clients make an impact on their business. Lola Red serves clients across multiple industries including: consumer electronics, technology, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, CPG, franchise, food and beverage, hospitality and non-profit industries. Lola Red is certified as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The Denver office opened in the Summer of 2019, marking the first expansion of the firm. Lola Red has received accolades from Ragan’s PR Daily Awards, Shorty Awards, Ad Club Co, Twin Cities Business and the PRSA organization. The agency’s sports marketing division, Lola Pro, amplifies athlete’s time in the spotlight through integrated brand partnerships, media relations, community relations and social/digital strategies. Lola Pro also works with companies and brands across various industries to help them achieve objectives utilizing professional athletes.

12.) Maverick Public Relations:

Mission Statement: Maverick Public Relations provides big agency expertise with outstanding client service by seasoned and knowledgeable communications experts.

About Maverick Public Relations: Maverick PR was established in December 2018 and quickly was recognized as one of the most effective cannabis agencies in the industry. Our cannabis and hemp experience is unparalleled, with most of us working in the sector for 5-10 years 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. We are experts in cannabis, but we also have deep experience representing a multitude of sectors including health & wellness, biotech, agribusiness, sustainable technologies, renewable energy, associations, the regulated cannabis industry and media companies.

Our mission is to provide big agency expertise with outstanding client service by seasoned and knowledgeable communications experts. Maverick PR offerings include public relations, media training, investor relations, content development, thought leadership development, speaking engagements, response strategy/crisis management, event support and consulting. What sets us apart: We are hands-on, sincere, genuine and responsive. We’re ridiculously enthusiastic, hard-working and nimble. We think outside of the box, and we’re good partners to our clients. We root out good story ideas and then help our clients share their narratives.

At our core, we’re passionate about good journalism. We want to see the Fourth Estate not just survive but thrive. Each of us brings such a unique skill set and background. We come from all different ages/levels in our careers. That helps to foster a successful and supportive environment. And while more than half of our team is based in the Denver metro area, we have outposts in California, Florida and Pennsylvania, which we believe lends to a diverse perspective.

Cannabis clients, including Wana, Wana Wellness, Elixinol, Quicksilver Scientific, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, Resource Innovation Intuition, Fortis Law Partners, Capitol Wellness Solutions, L’Eagle, L’eela CBD Body Care and Cannabis Doing Good.


Kaitlin DomangueKaitlin DomangueNovember 22, 2019
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4min7270

The second Cannabis Investor Survey has been conducted by KCSCA Strategic Communications, with over 300 cannabis investors surveyed. Roughly 86% of investors are concerned with a global recession over the next 12-18 months, but remain bullish regarding cannabis.

Almost 60% of investors surveyed believe that cannabis will continue to grow, despite the general state of the economy. This is appealing to investors, with only 5% saying they would sell their stocks in the event of a recession. The majority of investors say they would hold or purchase more stock in cannabis, with 68% keeping their current position and 27% acquiring additional stock.

Jeffrey Goldberger, Principal, and Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications said, “At a time when many investors are concerned the economy is potentially moving towards a recession, they continue to view cannabis as a safe investment. While we find this reassuring, we encourage investors to apply the same rigor they place on their other investments; a strong management team, solid balance sheet, well-articulated business plan, and exceptional execution. Underlying these positive attributes is management’s ability and willingness to consistently and transparently communicate with all stakeholders.”

With this information in mind, it is important to acknowledge the struggles the cannabis industry faced this summer. Making money from cannabis has been challenging for investors, and compared to KCSA’s first investor survey, the number of investors who reported making money off cannabis stocks dropped from 90 percent to 40%. As a result, investors are now placing their bets across multiple cannabis companies using different methods, as opposed to just placing all of their eggs in one basket. Approximately 18% have positions in six to nine companies, and roughly 32 percent of investors surveyed reported owning shares in ten or more companies.

Caution Remains

Though they remain bullish, investors have no doubt been more cautious than they were six months ago. According to KCSA, there has been a 30% drop in investors who have more than $100,000 invested in cannabis, suggesting larger investors are selling off to secure a profit and to minimize losses. Despite this, many cannabis investors believe their investments to be long-term, with 88 percent of investors planning to hold their investments for 1-10 years.

Many investors are keeping an eye on legislation. Proposed regulations like the SAFE Banking Act could open the door for more cash flow. In fact, 54 percent of investors say if the SAFE Banking Act was to pass in early 2020, they would increase their investments with 68% increasing their investments if cannabis were to be federally legalized.

“As an industry, cannabis is gaining momentum more quickly than most anticipated; the challenge that remains is the current regulatory environment. The capital crunch cannabis companies face today could be addressed with the passage of the States Act, Safe Banking – with a capital markets tweak – or rescheduling,”  added Lewis Goldberg, Principal and Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications.

KCSA is a fully integrated 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.

Methodology

KCSA‘s Cannabis Investor Survey, which was analyzed in September 2019, collected data from more than 300 individual investors currently investing in cannabis. The net worth of the respondents varied in range, with 36 percent citing a net worth of between $100,000 and $500,000 and another 36 percent citing more than $500,000.

 

 


Video StaffVideo StaffOctober 2, 2019

1min5370

With over 400 publicly traded cannabis companies and billions of dollars at stake, brands can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to how the public perceives them. Anne Donohoe of NY-based public relations firm KCSA leads a panel taped at the Green Market Summit on September 11, 2019 in Los Angeles reviewing the differences of working with publicly traded companies including managing good and bad news. Panelists included Jason Vegotsky, CRO KushCo Holdings, Brandy Gray, CEO Urth Capital Advisors, BJ Caretta, Caretta Consulting.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerMay 8, 2019
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7min6250

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for May 7, 2019.

On the Site

Investors Are Bullish On Cannabis, According to KCSA Survey

Investors are feeling bullish about the cannabis industry, according to a new survey released by KCSA Strategic Communications. Titled the Cannabis Investor Survey, KCSA polled over 250 retail cannabis investors about their investments and outlook on the legal cannabis industry in the United States.

Illinois Releases Plan For Full Legalization

This past Saturday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released the plan for full cannabis legalization which is set to begin on January 1, 2020. Companies that currently had medical cannabis licenses would get a jump on other companies with regards to applying for licenses. According to the plan, new licenses for dispensaries would begin on May 1 and processors, craft growers and transporters would begin licensing on July 1. It wouldn’t be until late 2021, that the next round of businesses would receive licenses.

Long-awaited German Tenders Handed to Specialist Trio

White smoke emanating from Germany’s medical agency signals the wait is over to find out which firms have been awarded medicinal cannabis tenders for Europe’s top market. Two Canadian firms, Aphria, and Aurora Cannabis and Germany’s Demecan have won out, it has emerged. The three companies will split a four-year tender to grow 10,400kg between them. Aphria won five of the 13 lots, with Aurora Cannabis and Demecan handed five and three lots respectively.

In Other News

MJardin

MJardin Group, Inc. (CSE: MJAR) (OTCQX: MJARF) today released their fourth quarter and full year financial results for 2018. Revenue for the year was $27.5 million. Adjusted net loss from operations was $27.4 million and adjusted EBITDA was $12.2 million. “2018 was a year of significant change in the company as we expanded in to another US state, entered the Canadian market via acquisition, and became a publicly traded company on both the CSE and OTC,” remarked Adrian Montgomery, MJardin Chairman of the Board and Interim CEO. “In addition, we have restructured our corporate size and organization to better integrate and align with our core business goals in both countries.”

Heritage Cannabis

Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp. (CSE: CANN) announced that it has closed a $17.3 million bought deal offering, selling approximately 32.6 million units of the company at a price of $0.53 per unit. Each unit consisted of one common share and one-half of one common shar purchase warrant. Proceeds from the offering will be used to increase extraction capacity and follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies, new domestic and international opportunities, working capital and general corporate purposes.

TerrAscend

TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER) announced that it has completed the book-build for its previously announced upsized private placement. The gross proceeds from the offering totaled $52 million. The company is issuing common shares in the private placement at the previously announced price of C$7.64, which is a 5% discount from Monday’s closing price.

Cronos Group

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) announced that is has opened a cannabinoid device R&D facility in Israel. Dubbed Cronos Device Labs, the facility will feature a 23-member team and is comprised of product designers, mechanical, electrical and software engineers, and analytical and formulation scientists. “The launch of Cronos Device Labs is an exciting next step on our journey to become a leader in cannabinoid innovation,” said Cronos Group Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gorenstein. “Vapor is already one of the most popular forms of cannabis consumption, and we see a clear opportunity for Cronos Group to introduce the next-generation of vaporizer products designed specifically for cannabinoid formulations.”

Canopy Growth

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) announced the launch of Spectrum Therapeutics, a new global brand that will encompass all of the company’s ongoing commercial medical and clinical research operations including Spectrum Cannabis, Canopy Health Innovations , and Bionorica SE-founded C3 Cannabinoid Compound Company. Spectrum will be involved with the production and distribution of full-spectrum and single cannabinoid medical cannabis products; education, resources and support for patients and healthcare practitioners; as well as pre-clinical and clinical research and the development of cannabinoid-based medicines.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerMay 6, 2019
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3min11520

Investors are feeling bullish about the cannabis industry, according to a new survey released by KCSA Strategic Communications. Titled the Cannabis Investor Survey, KCSA polled over 250 retail cannabis investors about their investments and outlook on the legal cannabis industry in the United States.

Of those surveyed, 51% have a net worth between $100,000 and $500,000 while the other half (49%) have a net worth over $500,000.  According to the survey, 90% of retail investors are making money off of their stocks, and 40% say that they own stock in 10 or more cannabis companies. Roughly 50% are pulling money from other investments to invest in cannabis.

“Cannabis has graduated from being viewed as a high-risk, exotic or fringe investment, to a mainstream staple of retail investors’ stock portfolios,” said Todd Fromer, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications. “Our survey suggests that individual investors are selling their positions in traditional stocks in order to invest in cannabis stocks.”

While some may see cannabis as a way to make quick money, most retail investors say that they are in it for the long run. Approximately 80% of respondents say that they plan to hold on to their investments for between 1-10 years. Nearly half of those surveyed (40%) say that cannabis makes up more than a quarter of their overall investment portfolio.

Though cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance, most investors don’t seem to mind. Roughly 84% of respondents say that cannabis’ federal status has no impact on their decision to invest. Retail investors are also unafraid to invest in cannabis companies that touch the plant.

Approximately 44% say that they are invested in a medical cannabis company and 40% report to have investments in adult-use cannabis. While hemp-CBD may be the hottest thing in the health and wellness market, 37% of respondents have investments in the sector. Despite the legal benefits of investing in ancillary cannabis companies, only 24% have a financial stake in one.

The takeaway from this survey is that investors are exceedingly confident in the long-term success and stability of the cannabis industry. Instead of cautiously putting money into ancillary companies, most retail investors seem to be diving head first both adult-use and medical cannabis while shying away from “safer” investments. According to Lewis Goldberg, a managing partner at KCSA, that trend will only continue.

“Cannabis investors appear unafraid,” says Goldberg. “As they continue to invest without fear of federal illegality of cannabis and without concern regarding companies that touch the plant, we expect this sentiment will only grow as more and more states expand medical programs and pass recreational use laws.”


StaffStaffMarch 13, 2019
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14min49130

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.


StaffStaffJanuary 14, 2019
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3min6570

NEW YORK,  January 14, 2019 /AxisWire/ KCSA Strategic Communications, an integrated strategic communications firm specializing in public relations, media relations, social media and investor relations, today announced it was named to the “2018 CBE Ancillary Business 155” list by Cannabis Business Executive, an integrated business to business media company serving the cannabis and hemp industries.

“The cannabis industry requires the same level of professionalism, dedication, attention to detail and focus for achieving measurable ROI from a communications perspective as any mainstream, mature industry. For more than five years, KCSA has been focused on bringing this type of strategic communication to our dozens of cannabis clients that span the entire cannabis ecosystem,” said Lewis Goldberg, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications. “Understanding how to communicate for ancillary service providers, multi-state operators, brands and others takes a unique understanding of the intersection of cannabis, the capital markets and culture.”

For nearly 50 years, KCSA Strategic Communications has been one of the most trusted strategic communications firms in the United States, with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and London, providing public relations and investor relations counsel to thousands of companies. In particular, KCSA’s cannabis practice, led by Philip Carlson and Lewis Goldberg, 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.

About KCSA Strategic Communications

KCSA is a fully integrated 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 firm’s clients are its best references. For more information, please visit www.kcsa.comor https://www.kcsa-cannabis.com/.

 

Media Contacts

Gretchen Gailey / Christina Panta

KCSA Strategic Communications

347.487.6186 / 212.896.1208

ggailey@kcsa.com / cpanta@kcsa.com

 


McKenna MillerMcKenna MillerNovember 20, 2018
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6min8080

Over the past few years, there has been quite a shift in how the press is “talking pot”. From Vogue covering “Cannabis Cocktails” to top business outlets covering what marijuana stocks you should invest in, the pot conversation is hitting the mainstream media very quickly.

As marijuana emerges from the black market into legal legitimacy, the conversation in the mainstream press isn’t just an exploration of pot culture anymore. Right now, the legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries netting nearly $10 billion in 2017 and is expected to hit twice that this year. As more and more public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans support legalizing the drug, media is increasing their coverage to satisfy people’s need to understand the ever-green industry.

So as a PR person representing a cannabis client, how do you navigate the slowly legalizing industry?

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Understanding how to participate in the cannabis conversation comes down to knowing how to communicate to the capital markets, consumers, and regulators. PR and marketing agencies are counseling their clients on how to properly reach to a whole new consumer. For a brand that makes CBD gummies or tinctures, instead of branding themselves as just weed edibles they are positioning themselves as supplements to fight chronic pain or the new wheat grass shot to take after you workout. For companies on the ancillary side, discussing how to be successful as a business while not touching the plant is the kind of topics that are reaching aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs.

KNOW WHAT TOPICS READERS LOVE RIGHT NOW

The top topics being covered in the news range from CBD as a beauty lifestyle product, marijuana legalization legislation, and how you can profit on this industry. The cannabis consumer today isn’t just your typical stoner looking for the next strains to “knock your socks off”, they are patients, lifestyle health gurus and a wealthier, older demographic looking to invest and understand. Some of the top searches for Cannabis range from Millennials investing into pot stocks and will CBD help with anxiety. Make sure your pitch is unique to what has been covered but know what publications enjoy covering.

SHOW WHY YOUR MARIJUANA PRODUCT IS THE BEST

If you head to any legal state right now, it is a brand graveyard of weed products. From THC sodas to chocolate, everyone is looking to make a quick buck. So you put weed in beer? Why should I cover it?

As marijuana flirts with mainstream, a lot of writers are looking to give readers the truth of this trendy new product or innovative company. Be an expert on your cannabis product and brand by having your pitch include testimonies and the science behind the product, but don’t over-saturate your pitch with too much information.

KNOW WHO YOU ARE PITCHING

This is just basic PR knowledge, but knowing what that writer usually covers before blindly adding them to your pitch list is crucial in pitching cannabis. A handful of people still don’t support marijuana legalization and someone covering their support for Jeff Sessions will immediately put your pitch into spam. Unless they are vocal about it, mommy blogs and parent publications navigate their support for pot very differently. Take a few minutes to research the writer! Meltwater is a great tool to easily track that writer’s recent coverage.

KNOW WHAT YOUR CLIENT WANTS

For any company working in cannabis space having an agency that understands the unique challenges that this industry brings is a good first step. However, whether you are a consumer product or a publicly traded company, it is always crucial that the PR agency understands what the marketing and sales teams goals are.

For agencies, if your client is on the B2B side, you’re going to want to strive for brand awareness among an audience reading trade publications rather than a Refinery29 gift guide.

Not all press is good press in the cannabis industry. Having a message that ties to ending the stigma of marijuana is always a good start. Nonetheless, every brand has a story to tell but what part of that story makes it stand out? There has to be more than “I grow the best cannabis” or “we are the most innovative”. Finding that and running with it will guarantee long-term success.


StaffStaffNovember 19, 2018
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5min9030

MANNADA LLC, PRODUCERS OF THE CANNABIS LAW SUMMIT, TO HOST JOURNALISTS, PUBLICISTS, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND BRAND LEADERS AT INAUGURAL EAST COAST EVENT ON DECEMBER 7, 2018 IN NYC

BOSTON GLOBE, HIGH TIMES, DOPE MAGAZINE, MARIJUANA TODAY, WORD ON THE TREE, ESTROHAZE, GREEN MARKET REPORT, AND MARY MAGAZINE REPRESENTED AMONG PANELISTS AND PRESENTERS

MASSACHUSETTS CANNABIS CONTROL COMMISSIONER SHALEEN TITLE TO DISCUSS SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING

NEW YORK, NY – November 19, 2018 /AxisWire/ As statewide medical marijuana and adult-use laws spread throughout the country, media outlets, from mainstream to cannabis-specific, are grappling with the growing demand for cannabis-related reporting and content. Produced by Mannada, LLC, a women of color-owned professional event production company serving the cannabis industry, the Cannabis Media Summit, will examine media interest in cannabis on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm in Times Square, New York City. The day-long event will bring together media professionals, journalists and thought leaders in the emerging cannabis journalism space to share best practices, challenges, tips and trends in this new area of reporting.

“During our inaugural Cannabis Law Summit earlier this year, I was approached by several journalists who identified a need for programming to address cannabis media coverage,” said Mannada Founder Kristin Jordan. “As a professional event production company serving the cannabis industry, we understand how media perception is so important to legalization and regulatory efforts.” High NY, Word on the Tree, Duane Morris, LLP and Tracey Henry Consulting/THC are among the event’s sponsors. Mannada plans to bring a similar event on the West Coast in 2019.

The Cannabis Media Summit will feature panel discussions on such topics as “Starting a Cannabis Media Company,” “Ethics in Cannabis Reporting” and “Using Media for Effective Communication,” as well as discussion on cannabis-specific issues in financial pitching and reporting, podcasting, social media messaging, and more. Program highlights include a talk from Dan Adams, the Boston Globe’s first dedicated cannabis reporter on what it takes for journalists to work the cannabis beat, and insights from Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title and High NY’s Michael Zaytsev on messaging through social media.

Don’t miss “High Times + Dope: The Acquisition,” where Dope Magazine’s founder Dave Tran and High Times Group’s lead investor Adam Levin will speak publicly with Word on the Tree editor Mona Zhang for the first time about the deal that sent shockwaves throughout the cannabis and publishing worlds.

“I am incredibly honored to participate in the first ever conference specifically addressing media and cannabis,” said Dope Magazine founder Dave Tran. “As the founder of a startup cannabis media company recently acquired by a major industry leader, I believe it is important to share our story with others who are shaping the future of cannabis journalism.”

Cannabis Media Summit panelists and presenters are among the pioneers of canna-journalism and public relations – including Shea Gunter of Marijuana Today, Debra Borchardt of Green Market Report, Sirita Wright of Estrohaze and Adrian Farquharson of Fresh Media Inc (MARY Magazine); KCSA Publicity’s Cynthia Salarizadeh and Lewis Goldberg; and notable writers Sara Brittany Somerset, Janet Burns and Madison Margolin, to name a few.

The Cannabis Law Summit will be held at the offices of Duane Morris, LLP, which is located at 1540 Broadway (at the corner of 45th Street) in Times Square. Tickets are $149 per person, including hot breakfast, lunch from Vanessa’s Dumplings and networking cocktail hour following the program. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.cannabismediasummit.com.

For more information including interview requests, please contact: Tracey Henry Tracey Henry Consulting/THC tracey@th-consulting.co

 


StaffStaffOctober 9, 2018
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7min5650

KCSA’s Cynthia Salarizadeh also to participate in an in-depth panel discussion focused on advertising and marketing

NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2018 /AxisWire/ KCSA Strategic Communications (KCSA), a fully integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, investor relations and social media, announced today that Managing Director Phil Carlson and Managing Partner Cynthia Salarizadeh will be speaking at this week’s New West Summit, a conference focused exclusively on the game-changing, disruptive developments in technology, science, media and investment within the cannabis space. Held from October  11th – 13th at the Marriott City Center in Oakland, CA, the New West Summit is one of the largest gatherings of publicly traded cannabis companies and international investors.

At the conference, Mr. Carlson will be co-hosting the “Public Companies Symposium” track alongside Alan Brochstein of 420 Investor and New Cannabis Ventures. Taking place on October 11th and 12th, the symposium will afford some of the top North American public companies in the cannabis space the opportunity to pitch and present to high-level investors looking for the next big thing. The stellar roster of presenting companies include: Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (ACBFF), Liberty Health Sciences, Inc. (LHSIF),  Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (KHRNF), The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGODF), MPX Bioceutical Corporation (MPXEF), Sunniva Inc. (SNNVF), Terra Tech Corp. (TRTC) , Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. (MDCL) , CordovaCann Corp. (LVRLF) and CB2 Insights (private).

“Increasing institutional investor participation is critical to propelling the cannabis industry into greater legitimacy in the capital markets, given the current state of affairs of complicated state regulations and the lack of access to more traditional banking and investment,” said Mr. Carlson.  “It’s through symposiums and events like New West Summit, that investors meet, compare ideas, discuss strategy, trade valuable insights and forecasts and truly learn from each other to succeed in this rapidly emerging global market.”

Mr. Carlson’s co-host, Mr. Brochstein, was the first investment professional to devote himself to sharing his observations about the cannabis industry from an investor’s perspective publicly. He runs 420 Investor, a subscription-based due diligence platform for investors interested in the publicly-traded cannabis stocks and is also the founder of New Cannabis Ventures, a content aggregation site focused on investors and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Mr. Brochstein began his career on Wall Street in 1986, working as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. Mr. Brochstein is a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV.  Alan also regularly contributes columns for Leafly and Forbes.

On October 11, Ms. Salarizadeh will participate in an in-depth panel discussion focused on advertising and marketing within the cannabis industry titled: “It’s Time to Grow Up.  Advertising and Mobile Marketing for the Cannabis Industry.” The panel will discuss best practices for cannabis companies looking to identify and reach their target audiences across a multitude of mediums including print, OTT and mobile while navigating the complicated regulatory environment.

Ms. Salarizadeh commented, “Advertising for the cannabis industry is slowly becoming more mainstream with more and larger publishers now beginning to accept cannabis advertising. With today’s consumers more mobile than ever we’re seeing a disruptive strategic shift in advertising tools and techniques to increase market awareness, including more video consumption and OTT (over the top) to reach your target audience.”

For the latest in-depth coverage on the industry, subscribe to The Green Rush, KCSA’s weekly podcast that features industry leaders talking about the business of cannabis.

About KCSA Strategic Communications
KCSA Strategic Communications is a fully-integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, investor relations, social media and marketing with expertise in financial and professional services, technology, healthcare, media, energy, cannabis and public services companies. 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 firm’s clients are its best references. For more information on the KCSA Cannabis Practice or “The Green Rush,” the company’s weekly podcast on the business of cannabis, please visit our website. Or find us on the following social channels: Twitter: @KCSA_Cannabis and Instagram: @KCSA_Cannabis.



About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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