Marketing is an increasingly important sector of the cannabis industry, especially as the plant continues to legalize and expand throughout the nation.
A good cannabis marketer must go above and beyond the industry average, finding a way to successfully market cannabis brands and/or products while remaining compliant with ever-changing regulations.
This list features seven of the heaviest hitters in cannabis marketing today – pioneers who have paved the way for this niche sector of the industry and how it will be established for years to come.
Here are the 2022 marketing and advertising honorees (in no particular order) for The BLUNTNESS/100.
1. Harrison Wise
Harrison Wise is the President of Wise Collective, a full-service integrated marketing communications firm that creates “magic” for brands in need of identity, circulation, creativity, or some combination.
Wise also serves as chairman of The Bluntness, where he applies his brand-building experience to the cannabis industry as it continues to expand.
The passionate advocate has 25 years of experience working with both established and emerging companies, including MedMen during their rollout, providing his expertise around growth marketing, brand awareness, and thought leadership.
Beyond the cannabis industry, Wise works with clients and brands throughout technology, entertainment, sports, health and wellness, and viral media.
For regular insights into the industry as it develops and media in general, follow Wise on LinkedIn.
2. Lisa Buffo
An expert marketer and entrepreneur in the cannabis space, Lisa Buffo brings her valuable insights to the intersection of cannabis and technology.
Buffo acts as founder and CEO at the Cannabis Marketing Association (CMA), a nationwide organization designed to support and connect people in cannabis communications.
Cannabis marketers deal with a wide variety of setbacks on a regular basis, mainly due to the fact that the plant still isn’t fully legal.
Marketers and advertisers are hit with a long list of restrictions in regards to how they market their cannabis products, and these restrictions vary from region to region, which only further complicates an expert’s approach.
In an attempt to alleviate these ongoing issues, Buffo founded CMA to bring the community together and share experiences to form a collective knowledge for going forward.
Buffo serves on multiple cannabis-related boards – like the Rolling Stone Culture Council, Cannabis Doing Good, and the California Cannabis Industry Association – and is recognized for being one of the most accomplished women in cannabis under the age of 40.
Connect with Buffo on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
3. Ricardo Baca
Ricardo Baca is the CEO and founder at Grasslands, a journalism-minded agency that specializes in public relations, content, social media, and thought leadership for the cannabis industry.
The organization helps brands tell their story and find their footing in the cannabis space, connecting them with like-minded individuals and organizations, developing their identity, and helping them connect with their niche.
Before founding Grasslands, Baca served as the Denver Post’s first-ever cannabis editor. During his time at the newspaper, Baca covered the developing cannabis markets in Colorado, California, Washington, Uruguay, Canada, and beyond.
He also founded The Cannabist in 2013, a Denver Post-owned online cannabis publication that covers “all things weed” for the newspaper in the greater Denver area.
Follow Baca’s updates on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
4. Kimberly Dillon
Industry expert Kimberly Dillon has over 15 years of experience developing blue chip brand identities and stories, and she’s spent the past few years bringing that curated expertise to cannabis brands across the nation.
The marketer also has quite a bit of experience as a keynote speaker, gracing the stage at key conferences like TEDWomen, SXSW, and more.
Dillon founded Plant & Prosper in 2019, an organization dedicated to cultivating a new industry through branding and consumer insights, sales and distribution strategies, product and innovation roadmaps, and more.
The entrepreneur brings her experience from some of the top brands in the nation to cannabis, helping the industry as operators become increasingly aware of the need for marketing and identity for ultimate success.
You can connect with Dillon on LinkedIn or Instagram.
5. Lance Lambert
Lance Lambert is easily one of the most experienced cannabis marketers in the industry, having worked with several top brands and companies since cannabis’s boom began a few years ago.
Lambert got his start in the industry at the Denver Post, where he served as the general manager of The Cannabist. Lambert worked in tandem with editorial and advertising for the newspaper’s cannabis-specific outlet, focusing on brand development and website traffic growth.
From there, Lambert went on to work at Weedmaps, where he was both the Director of Global Operations and Publisher of marijuana.com (now “Weedmaps News”), the Weedmaps-owned online publication featuring the industry’s latest.
After more marketing stints at Green Flower Media and Boveda Inc., Lambert moved to GreenBroz Inc., where he currently serves as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.
At GreenBroz, Lambert and his team develop marketing plans to achieve short- and long-term objectives on behalf of brands, gathering intel to support product development, projects, and programs.
Connect with Lambert on LinkedIn.
6. Alice Moon
Based in Los Angeles, Alice Moon is a self-described “media maven” who focuses on PR, social media, and marketing services for cannabis and non-cannabis brands across the nation.
On top of her freelance services, Moon works as an account supervisor at Trailblaze, an elite marketing communications organization that serves the cannabis industry.
The marketing expert has nine years of experience as a social media strategist, and she regularly shares her insights via her online courses, like “Influencer Marketing 101” or “Creating an Instagram Bio That Will Attract An Ideal Audience.”
She’s also passionate about sharing information on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, a rare condition that may stem from overly frequent cannabis use.
Moon’s clients have been featured on Rolling Stone, Forbes, Green Entrepreneur, Cannabis Now, Direct Cannabis Network, Green Market Report, Benzinga, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Civilized, Weedmaps, Cannabis Aficionado, Merry Jane, Sweet Jane Magazine, and more.
Follow Moon on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
7. David Tran
A West Coast entrepreneur with years of experience in the entertainment industry, David Tran has serious roots in the Seattle cannabis community today.
After founding event promotions company Old Skool Entertainment in 2000, Tran opened up some of Seattle’s top nightlife venues, like Venom Nightclub, Amber Restaurant and Lounge, Chao Bistro and Cowgirls Inc.
Tran forayed into cannabis in 2011, when he co-founded Seattle-based medical dispensary Conscious Care Cooperative. During his time there, Tran came up with the idea for Dope Magazine, one of the industry’s first cannabis lifestyle brands.
After selling Dope to Hightimes Media in 2019, Tran co-founded Farechild, an all-inclusive event production and marketing platform dedicated to connecting the cannabis industry.
In the same year, he co-founded consulting company Goldfingers Group, which offers the industry’s top brands business consultation, management analysis, and financial guidance.
Connect with Tran on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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