BLUNTNESS/100: Cannabis Media Honorees

These masters of media are playing a critical role in today's cannabis universe.
These masters of media are playing a critical role in today's cannabis universe. /

As the world catches up on all things cannabis, media platforms in the space are more important than ever.

Who is publishing quality cannabis content? Why are they doing it? Who is their audience?

This segment of The BLUNTNESS/100 highlights several media leaders in cannabis today, in no particular order.

1. Stephanie Graziano

If you’re looking for people with deep business and media experience in cannabis publishing, Stephanie Graziano is a top candidate.

In April 2021, Graziano was named CEO of the award-winning Sensi Media Group. Before that Graziano was co-founder and COO at Green Flower Media, where she brought extensive experience from her time as a business coach and executive producer.

Between 1991 and 2012, Graziano ran her own production house, Graz Entertainment. She’s also worked as a producer for Marvel Studios, Fox Kids Networks, Dreamworks Television Animation, and served as President for BKN Studios.

This kind of media and storytelling experience in cannabis is second to none.

She’s only one year into her tenure at Sensi Media Group. Let’s see how far she takes it!

You can follow Stephanie Graziano on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

2. Chris Walsh

Everyone in the cannabis industry knows Marijuana Business Daily, headed by founding editor Chris Walsh, who now serves at the publication’s CEO.

From day one, MJBizDaily has dedicated itself to uncompromised standards in its journalism, building a loyal following along the way.

Supporters of MJBizDaily view the publication as the go-to industry trade journal, which is an important asset for a fast-growing industry where things can sometimes get … confusing.

In addition to the daily publication, the company is also famous for its annual conference MJBizCon, one of the favorite gathering points for almost the entire U.S. cannabis industry.

In January 2022, it was announced that MJBizDaily had been acquired by Emerald X for more than $120 million. This kind of payday is what many businesses strive for, yet MJBiz plans to retain the same focus it always has.

“MJBiz plans to continue to serve the cannabis business as it has for the past decade, now with a deeper bench,” Walsh.

To follow updates on Chris Walsh, connect with him on LinkedIn.

3. Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is co-founder and executive editor over at Green Market Report, one of the cannabis world’s top sources for financial news.

Established in 2017, Green Market Report has carved out quite a niche for itself in a short amount of time.

From their website: “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”

Borchardt is also co-founder of the executive networking group Industry Power Women, board member for cannabis newswire AxisWire, and a popular speaker and panelist at conferences.

Connect with Debra on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

4. Javier Hasse

Javier Hasse is one of the top editors and reports in the cannabis and psychedelics space – and wow is he prolific!

Hasse currently serves as managing director for Benzinga Cannabis. He’s also co-founder and CEO at El Planteo, author of Start Your Own Cannabis Business, as well as contributing cannabis writer at Forbes, Playboy, and more.

One of the great things about Hasse is that he also serves Spanish-speaking audiences, where there’s a lot of demand for quality cannabis content.

In any case, the cannabis world needs more storytellers like Hasse. Keep your eye on this one.

To stay in the loop, follow Javier Hasse on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

5. Mark Collins

Mark Collins brings some serious outside experience to his role as President for Highly Capitalized, a financial news network in cannabis and psychedelics.

Previously, Collins served as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble, a global marketing director at CNN, Chief Marketing Officer for Strauss Coffee, and more.

While working for some of the most famous brands in the world, Collins has cultivated a strong acumen in business strategy and transformational leadership across a number of markets.

His skills and international experience have translated very well in the cannabis world, adding value and cohesion every step of the way.

Connect with Mark Collins on LinkedIn.

6. Stephen Murphy

If you’re looking for a global cannabis industry focus, Stephen Murphy’s work with Prohibition Partners and Cannabis Europa is a great start.

As co-founder and managing director at Prohibition Partners, Murphy has built a strong platform dedicated to industry data, compliance technology, events, and media & publishing for a B2B audience.

Murphy is also co-founder of Cannabis Europa, an ongoing conference series helping to shape the future of medical cannabis in Europe.

He’s also making moving in the psychedelics space as co-founder of , a “premium business-to-business media and content platform for the psychedelic science and healthcare industry.”

Connect with Stephen Murphy on LinkedIn.

7. Alex Halperin

Since 2015, Alex Halperin has brought solid business journalism skills to the cannabis universe through WeedWeek.

WeedWeek adds value to readers by shedding clarity on the fast-moving developments of the industry and its distinct markets and insightful interviews with leaders from across the space.

In short, a lot of cannabis industry folks would be lost without their weekly dose of WeedWeek.

From the about page:

“At WeedWeek, we don’t have anything against getting high, but we view the phenomenon of cannabis legalization through a wider lens. It’s a complex political story, inseparable from the cruelest aspects of American history, as well as a cultural and scientific catalyst.”

You can follow Alex Halperin on Twitter and LinkedIn.

8. Elana Goldberg

As CEO of The Cannigma, Elana Goldberg is leading one of the top platforms in global cannabis education.

What makes this Israel-based platform so different than other cannabis education efforts?

Essentially, The Cannigma caters its evidence-based content to readers of all backgrounds, from cannabis noobs to doctors, scientists, and policymakers.

“About a year into it, we realized that most of the information we’re putting out there is relevant regardless of how people use cannabis, whether it’s on the strictly medical side, the hardcore recreational side, or the health and wellness space that’s continuing to expand in the middle,” Goldberg told The Bluntness.

Goldberg, like many others, believes that cannabis has the power to change the world in more ways than one.

To follow updates on Elana Goldberg and The Cannigma, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

9. Mary Jane Oatman

Indigenous Americans are also part of the cannabis universe, and Mary Jane Oatman is leading their cause.

As founder of the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition and Tribal Hemp and Cannabis (THC) Magazine, and host of the Smoke Signals podcast, Oatman is tireless in her ongoing mission.

And the mission is straight forward: to provide education to and for Indigenous communities, elevating their economies and promoting their traditional and spiritual approach to the plant.

You can follow updates on Oatman and THC Magazine by following them on Instagram and Facebook.

10. Mitch Pfeifer & Joey Brabo

Mitch Pfeifer and Joey Brabo have been doing some awesome things in the world of cannabis media through their platform Respect My Region.

In 2021, they launched an epic North American Weed Tour to showcase the best cannabis brands and cannabis cultural nuances across the U.S. and Canada.

Founded by entrepreneur and CEO Mitch Pfeifer, Respect My Region started out as an urban clothing line and quickly developed into what it is today: a full-blown lifestyle brand that supports local artists, other brands, and creatives who believe in the value of community and culture.

The brand expanded its focus to cannabis when Joey Brabo came onboard, bringing a wealth of cannabis knowledge and experience.

“I went to Vegas, walked around, and learned that no one really knew anything about marketing cannabis,” Brabo told The Bluntness in 2021.

“We’d been testing out new content marketing strategies at Respect My Region, and they were making the dispensary I worked at a lot of money. That’s when I realized we were going to have a place in the industry.”

To stay in the loop, follow Joey on Facebook and Twitter, Mitch on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

11. Christina De Giovanni

As CEO of The Emerald Media Group, Christina De Giovanni has brought her media savvy, both in print and digital, to the cannabis world for over ten years.

Articles, podcasts, videos, newsletters, print magazine issues – the point is to be a resource for both cannabis lovers and canna-curious.

From their about page: “Appealing to an array of demographics from Gen-Z to senior citizens, men and women alike are drawn to readership by topics of personal wellness.”

You can follow updates on Christina and Emerald Media by following her on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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