Ronit Pinto, Publisher & Founder of Honeysuckle Magazine.
- What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
There are many things we are proud of. The first is our survival as an independent media house. As the founder, I am usually so busy executing while also initiating business developments. We are currently able to accomplish a lot through our several actualized revenue streams. Now it’s time to scale further. We are in the process of attracting the right partners to support us, and us them.
One of my proudest accomplishments has been working with Indigenous tribes to amplify their messaging, particularly through our large scale Times Square billboard campaigns. I work closely with Mary Jane Oatman of the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition / THC Magazine; and Chenae Bullock of Little Beach Harvest of the Shinnecock in the Hamptons. They are some of my biggest allies and partners. The work we do means a lot to me, and there are so many elements of the First Peoples’ struggles that resonate with me.
- Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?
I think that women are very vocal in the cannabis industry, but many of them have the same struggles as in other industries. There are far fewer C-Suite and board appointees who are female in cannabis as in other industries. The ‘boys clubs’ obviously exist and therein lies a lot of financial resources. I think men have a different way of making money too, and possibly different approaches to asking for it. I feel comfortable for the most part, in boys’ clubs, but feel removed from the financial attitudes that drive them. I am learning though! It’s a necessity.
Overall, I think that women in the industry are creating their own paradigms, and that will hopefully evolve this industry (and other industries) in modern directions. The COVID era created opportunities for people to create their own businesses, organizations, and investments. I see that across the board in my female circles, from branding, to advisory roles, to investments. I think that‘s a very good thing.
Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
I don’t think I have to work twice as hard. The work I do would be equally challenging for a man or a woman, and I don’t think most people are cut out for it. My ability to think outside the box, multi-task, and pivot daily, are what have made my position viable. I’m not sure how gender-motivated those are. I think my attitudes towards financing are more characteristically female, in that there seems to be a certain way to ‘get it.’ So navigating that has been a challenge for me, but not one that we can’t overcome.
- What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
As a creative and visionary, I don’t always approach situations from a purely dollars-and-cents, transactional point of view. There are many things that are important, and hold huge financial value for me – that aren’t as important in our mainstream financial culture. Continuing to create those values on a daily basis, and find ways to finance them is a challenge. But one that is fully worth working for, and I feel we are attracting the right partners to benefit each other. The ultimate goal is to create something within the mainstream that still pushes society/culture forward, and so that is what we are doing.
- What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
Our interns and staff are 99% BIPOC and female. Their time at Honeysuckle helped them obtain jobs at CBS, USA Today, PopSugar, Mattio, NPR, and more! We explore gender and sexuality regularly online and in print. So I’d say we’ve played a pretty big role in creating opportunities for women in journalism, cannabis, and media overall.