71: Leading the way into Cannabis: Ft. the Cannabis PR Queen Rosie Mattio – Transcript

Editors’ Note: This is the transcript version of the podcast. Please note that due to time and audio constraints, transcription may not be perfect. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, embedded below if you need any clarification. We hope you enjoy!

Rosie Mattio has been hailed as the PR Queen and named as one of Forbes 15 Powerful and Innovative Women in Cannabis. Bryan and Kellan had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn how Rosie grew her own firm into the #1 ranked Cannabis PR firm.

Listen today to hear Cannabis marketing insights and learn from the best in the business.

Featured in Today’s Episode:

  • Founding the #1 Cannabis PR Firm
  • Bringing Cannabis into mainstream media
  • Oprah and Vouge in Cannabis Cannabis marketing strategies
  • Cannabis client relationships

Rosie has helped assemble global media coverage in mainstream publications, including the first cannabis article ever published in Oprah Magazine. Her firm has grown with the Cannabis market. Visit https://www.mattio.com/ to learn more.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Dime Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor or your favorite streaming platform.

[00:00:00] Bryan Fields: This is the dime, dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents. What’s up guys. Welcome back to that episode of the dime has always got my right hand, man, Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Rosie Matio founder and CEO of the power.

[00:00:23] Matio communications. And what have many have dubbed the cannabis PR queen Rosie. Thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today?

[00:00:30] Rosie Mattio: I’m great. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to chat with you guys today.

[00:00:33] Bryan Fields: I’m excited to dive in Kellan, how you doing?

[00:00:35] Kellan Finney: Doing good. Doing good. Just enjoying the weather out here.

[00:00:38] How are you Brian?

[00:00:39] Bryan Fields: Doing good? Doing good today was a crazy day for me, but we’re excited to kind of dive in. So Rosie, before we get started, I think it’d be great for our listeners to learn a little bit about your background.

[00:00:49] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, so my background is traditional public relations went to Boston university, studied communications there.

[00:00:57] Graduated, went to work in big agencies in New York city like Howard Rubenstein and Alison broad, and then went out on my own to start my own. Lifestyle PR firm in 2004. And then in 2014 found the cannabis practice of our agency, which we’re so grateful is now the largest cannabis marketing services firm in the industry.

[00:01:18] Bryan Fields: I think that’s incredible. And I saw recently you were one of the top companies recognized by Inc, which is an incredible accomplishment, given all the obstacles and cannabis. So kind of taking us back to the beginning. Is there a single moment where you realized you wanted to be in the cannabis?

[00:01:33] Rosie Mattio: You know, like this is just, it’s sort of like fell into my lap.

[00:01:37] So I worked in big agencies in New York and lived in Chicago for a bit and had some kids in between. And my husband took a job out in Seattle in 2013 and we moved out there and I, at that point I had three kids and I was driving them to school in the morning with 20 minute drive ’em over the bridge and through like some towns and the way to school.

[00:01:55] 7 38 in the morning lines outside of cannabis dispensary’s and then we started going to like, you know, social events or going to meet people in Seattle and there be, you know, moms, people pulling out vape pens. So it just started, it was like fortuitous that we moved to Seattle, which had just got adult use.

[00:02:11] And just randomly my background was in food and technology PR and I was approached to the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for a cookbook and I was a cannabis cookbook. And I always am pretty good at what I done, but when the New York times at fast company, and mashville rural, like begging for an exclusive on a story, a little light bulb went off and I said, wow, there’s something here.

[00:02:31] And so like, I didn’t set out to, you know, get into the cannabis space. It sort of fell into my lap, but you know, fast forward, six years later, almost seven years later, it’s my whole life. And, and like, I have a fire in my belly and my soul that I never had it, you know, in my whole life, you know, very, I have a wonderful life, but this is really just, you know, Just so much like so much fulfillment in my life.

[00:02:53] So, you know, it just sort of grew into this, but like, I know I didn’t exactly set out to, wow. I saw cannabis as an opportunity. Let’s do this, but as I learned, I realized, or I’ve been growing up with it. So it’s been a wild.

[00:03:05] Bryan Fields: And I’m sure it kind of dating back to when you first got started the, the looks and the conversations that people had with you early on versus where we are now.

[00:03:12] I’m sure they were kind of like, maybe like a little more of like the stigma with cannabis. Can you kind of share like what those conversations were like with loved ones with family and friends?

[00:03:21] Rosie Mattio: I have a few stories. I’d tell like, one of them is Zoe. We moved out to Seattle Washington, my husband’s job.

[00:03:26] He worked in finance, which is pretty buttoned up. You know, industry. So when I first started taking on these cannabis clients, like I thought it was cool and, you know, I didn’t have like much to lose like posting about it. I was just having such a good time. I would post on Facebook being like, Hey look, my new cannabis client.

[00:03:43] And my husband saved me like Rosie, you know, I’ve got sort of this, you know, conservative job, you know, you’ve got four kids. Maybe don’t want me posting so much about cannabis. And, but then fast forward. 2 20 17. We were moving back to New York city to be closer to family. And he was interviewing for jobs in New York and he walked into job interview saying, my wife is a smartest woman alive.

[00:04:03] She’s got a cannabis company. So it’s amazing. Having watched. This whole thing play out. And the de-stigmatization, there’s still some there, but I think a lot of my parents also were like in a, what are you doing? You know, I got a lot of the jokes, the stoner jokes and also like people just have misconception about what I was doing.

[00:04:20] I remember like going, coming home to New York or going to, you know, being on the carpool line and people asking me like, if I had weed for them, Well, I don’t actually sell cannabis. I do marketing for it. So there were, there was always lots of stories and there’s one more, I would tell this about like, how things have changed.

[00:04:35] It’s like a funny thing about it. I have these kids and I asked my daughter, you know, do you know what cannabis is? And she goes, yeah, that thing you paint on, she thought it was canvas. Now they know what it is. But it was just sorta like it just funny how this has evolved.

[00:04:47] Bryan Fields: Yeah, the evolution of it and from where you were and where we are now.

[00:04:51] I mean, it’s probably an incredible watch and especially from like a coast to coast standpoint, Kellen, and I always talk about how like the west coast is so much farther ahead than where the east coast is and how, you know, education that stigma is still kinda around here on the east coast, as people are kind of learning slowly about the benefits and the opportunities in the space.

[00:05:07] So let’s kind of dive into the company that you founded. Can you kind of share some of the value that you bring to this.

[00:05:12] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So, and I’ll talk about a little bit the shit as well. So, you know, when I came to the cannabis phase, like I said, I had just had mainstream PR background. So we took that approach from the beginning.

[00:05:22] So like my background had been in food. So when the fast company, when the stoners cookbook project came into my lap, I didn’t go to like the canvas publications. There were only a few, really a few then. And there were so few people covering canvas anyway. So I went to my food reporters. That was like, those are my people.

[00:05:38] Those are my contacts. So we are bringing this mainstream approach to canvas, obviously, you know, 10% vacations our base. And, you know, majority of the consumers are still reading those, but we know where the pack is going. So we always just felt that from early on that the cannabis products were looking like, you know, mainstream, CPG.

[00:05:57] So we went after the Oprah. The Vouges of the world. So I’m bringing that mainstream background, but understanding what’s happening in cannabis has been one of the secrets to our success. And also just just taking some of these disciplines from Renee, from running my own PR firm for so many years, like using data.

[00:06:12] And just like I said, taking that mainstream approach has helped elevate our clients. And that’s what I think sets us apart from some of the more endemic canvas agencies. And also, but on the flip side, you know, we do see some of the. More lifestyle PR firms coming into the space. Now, you know, they’re seeing the opportunity that we’ve been working on for all these years.

[00:06:31] And they don’t understand the nuances. Like since we’ve been doing this show slow so long, we understand like what you can, I cannot say making claims like what’s new, right? Once the people like will partner with the main you meet and see like some of our clients have many agencies and they’ll say, they’ll try to put out a pitch.

[00:06:45] Did you know cannabis as a wellness product? Like we’ve been talking about that for seven years. So if you’re going to a reporter who has been hearing from us for so many. That’s not new. So we understand the nuances and what’s new and what’s newsworthy, which sets us apart from other agencies. And also the one of those shifts that’s been since the beginning, like when a lot of these reporters took a bet on us and we were early on, like when I went to Bloomberg, you know, they were covering it more from the finance side of things, which they still are, but we started bringing some of the lifestyle angles.

[00:07:11] First stories ever written in mainstream publications like Vogue and Oprah came through Mattio because, you know, we spent the time educating them. And now, you know, you, there are seven editors at Vogue who would cover cannabis. So that’s been cool to watch like more mainstream media start writing about it more, but, but there’s still challenges.

[00:07:29] Like when I used to do food PR and I worked for a popcorn company. I would w we wanted to get pressed for the new popcorn. So what we do, we make a pretty package. We’d stick it in FedEx. So we email that we mail it to editors. We can’t do that. We can’t ship cannabis products. So like, there’s still a lot of challenges that we face.

[00:07:44] We’re trying to establish canvas as CPG. You can’t get sheet magazine to try yet. I think that’s

[00:07:50] Bryan Fields: really incredible too. And like, Kellen, I want to go to you on that because we always talk about with cannabis has all these additional layers and challenges. And for these other individuals who are trying to enter the space and they’re looking at getting, they’re just blown away by all the challenges and what Rosie’s saying, it’s just another layer to the challenges.

[00:08:05] So Kellen, like from that standpoint, I mean, cannabis is just layered with different challenges. So what, what opportunities do operators have in order to kinda like break down the barriers and get the word out on the opportunities of.

[00:08:17] Kellan Finney: Honestly from my experience, I think it’s like old school marketing techniques, like boots on the ground, vendor days going to dispensary’s with people from your team.

[00:08:26] Right? So like, when I was working in the industry as a lab manager, I would go to vendor days to explain the product to the budtenders, to the consumers. Right. And like, that is the only way that you can truly get the product in their hands legally. Right. And then explain what they’re looking for, why you did certain things from a formulation standpoint, as well, as well as, as well as growers, right?

[00:08:50] Like growers going to vendor days. Absolutely. One of the most valuable marketing things I’ve seen, because then budtenders can repeat exactly what the grower was thinking, why they did certain things, what that strain is really trying to achieve. Right. So those are the biggest or the really the. Outlets.

[00:09:07] As far as like being able to communicate with someone, what the product is supposed to, or the true nature of what you’re trying to achieve with that product from an operator to the consumer in person, because like Rosie was saying, you can’t mail this stuff out. It’s challenging to get the product in a lot of people’s fans.

[00:09:24] So like you just have to do it super old school. Like there was no internet, like 50 years ago kind of marketing status. You know what I mean?

[00:09:31] Rosie Mattio: It’s true. And also like in that in person, like some of the things that we did to set us up for success in garner, some of these mainstream media pieces was we would actually fly out editors to California.

[00:09:41] This was like 2015. We like. Oprah out to Palm Springs to visit Candescent, which was one of our early clients with them today. It’s a very expensive way to do it because you know, it flight hotel, but how else are they going to experience understand what’s happening? So say thing like trying to do these in-person events and now we’ve got COVID so that’s a little challenging, but this is a brand new industry.

[00:10:01] And like some people don’t even know what, you know, cannabis in 2021 looks like. So we really have to have that, like hand-to-hand combat. And also some of the challenges we haven’t spoken about. And why we’ve grown so rapidly is some of the limitations we have in terms of social media people who are tuned in some of them may know that, you know, if I’m launching, I use the popcorn example, a new popcorn flavor.

[00:10:21] I’ll buy some ads on Instagram and I’ll target the right people. But canvas companies are not allowed to spend money in the social networks. It’s illegal. I mean, they won’t let us, so there’s a lot of challenges that like, We’re marketing with one hand tied behind our back. So over the past few years, we started as media relations.

[00:10:37] We added social media and influencer to our service offering because we’ve figured out ways to compliantly do social media without getting accounts shut down. So knock on wood. So, yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of limitations and, but there’s also a lot of challenges to be like, if you’re a creative thinker and you know, you’ve got, clients are willing to, you know, push the envelope in terms of just creative ideas and sons, because like we, like I said, we have to be compliant in the way we market.

[00:11:02] There’s a lot of options. So as

[00:11:04] Bryan Fields: one of the leaders of one of the fastest growing companies in one of the fastest growing industries, rosy, like what is a normal day like for you? I know you must have your hands across the board, but I, I’m always curious to know, you know, what is a normal day like for you

[00:11:17] Rosie Mattio: look like, I always say like the busier, the more you get done.

[00:11:20] So my day starts very early in the morning. I get up around 4, 4 30 in the morning. Every day I get my workout in early on fitness, big part of my life. I feel like it sets me up. You know, it gives me energy for the day, get up and workout. And I’m answering emails that came through on the west coast.

[00:11:34] Like, you know, when I go to sleep. 10 o’clock at night, it’s the only 7:00 PM. So I’m checking a lot emails from the west coast in the morning and then head into the office. And usually it’s back-to-back client and team calls that we have. We work in pods. You call us, we’ve got like different teams in the agency and we do check-ins and a couple times a week.

[00:11:50] So back to back calls now. Things are opening up a little bit, doing some meetings in person. So just a lot of calls, a lot of strategy meetings pitching. I do some podcast work and we have our own podcasts. I spend some time doing that, but my day wraps in the office around six, 7:00 PM. I go home and I try to unplug for two hours and be with my kids.

[00:12:09] I’ve got four child children, so cook dinner, and then I get back on to see what I missed on the west coast for a couple of hours as they’re wrapping up their day. Go to bed and start over the next day. So, and a lot of travel now that it’s October, 2200, that a lot of ’em coming up a lot of conferences.

[00:12:26] So I’ll be back on the road a lot too, which

[00:12:27] Bryan Fields: I’m grateful about. And I’m so fascinated, kind of dive in there because it is so hard what you’re doing, right? Like scaling a business in an industry that is kind of unpacked in certain areas. And then working with clients. Such unique needs, right? Not everyone has the same needs across the board.

[00:12:42] So all your clients need special opportunities and special need, and that’s gotta be so challenging, kind of to, to build an infrastructure of resources around you and your, and your team in order to support your clients with all of their ongoing needs. So take us through that approach when you’re scaling your business, were there certain kinds of tactics in areas of.

[00:12:59] We should look to bring this on or how do you work through that thought process?

[00:13:03] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So just to get a little more of the history. So in 27, like I started in 2014, I was, I was on my own until 2018. So in 2018, I think I had nine or 10 clients all by myself and the opportunity was there. Like I saw it and it was a very scary time because I knew what I knew how to do, but I didn’t know how to build a business.

[00:13:22] And you had told me that. 46 employees and 60 clients today would have said you’re crazy. And I remember my husband saying to me, like it was, I think it was around August, September of 2018. I was, it was actually the summer of 20 2018. I was like, frazzled. Like I could not let the quality of the work go down.

[00:13:39] My entire business has been built on reputation. And I remember like sitting at dinner with my husband. Like crying being like, I have no time. I could barely breathe. I was dropping the kids off at school and he was said, Rosie, you got to scale this business. You need, you’ll hire people. And I said to him, I do not know what I’m doing.

[00:13:55] I don’t want to build a business. I just know how to like pitch stories. And he said, well, imagine one day. You get up in the morning, you take the girls to school, you go to the gym and then you go into your office with your cup of coffee and you 15 people working for you. And I said, Dan, that will never happen.

[00:14:09] And it just that time I did take on an intern to help me and the intern happens when the daughter of one of the CEOs of one of the non-cannabis companies I’ve been working with longtime entrepreneur. He may we call me up and some temper 2018. He said, Rosie let’s have coffee. He said, Rebecca, who’s his daughter.

[00:14:24] Rebecca told me what you’re doing on the side here. And it’s very interesting. Like, what are you doing with this company? Like, you’ve got something here, you know, you could have a PR agency. And I said to Mitch, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to run an agency. I don’t know, hire a person. I don’t know, manager anybody he’s like, but I do.

[00:14:41] So he joined me in October, 2018. So we’re coming on three years together and he said, and he helped me build the infrastructure. So we hired. Like real employee in November of 2018, I went to MJ biz con in November. And so when there was nine Pines came back and 14 finds the buzz was building around the agency and we are hired employee number one, and then slowly methodically over the past three years, we’ve added to the team and added to the roster.

[00:15:07] And this was very scary for me. I’ve never managed anybody. I’m a bit of a control freak. I like things my way. I knew how I’ve done, things like that. It’s so long this way and like, how am I going to unleash control? And it’s been the best thing I ever did because now I have the freedom to do what I love to do, which is meet with the entrepreneurs.

[00:15:24] Think of strategy, bringing in new business. I love like the sale. I love talking to people learning about their businesses and I have an amazing team that’s doing the work. Not that I don’t do the work cause there’s some, I still love a pitch. Like last week I like, I had an idea for pitch and I pitched to myself.

[00:15:40] Going on, you know, but I felt, it felt so good. Like it never gets old getting the hit and when like blown to bits, he was like, we want to write this story and like, boom, you know? But also the meantime, so we start with a lot of these companies early on like headset we’d been with since day one Condesa been, they wanted, as these companies have grown in a more marketing needs.

[00:15:58] So it’s happening at the higher social media agency. You might be time for our company to add investor relations because they’re going public or maybe they need to build out their blog and they would come to us and say, Rosie, do you know anybody who can do this for us? And I was like, we can do this.

[00:16:12] And we built all so, and our clients trusted us because we’ve been such long-term good partners them on the PR side, they trusted us to build these other functional expertise for them. So we started, it was one woman show with one service in our 46 people, 60 clients, we do eight different services. For example, our investor relations team we hired the fellow who started the IRR division at Aurora.

[00:16:35] In Canada, he built that, that team from, you know, he was also like to like 10 people on the team. I think they had four analysts, the ends up 20 analysts and he keep the joint left and he’s built at our IRR division. And now we have like, I think 10 or 12 investor relations clients. So we built a lot of infrastructure in the agency and then we also we’ve created more services.

[00:16:54] For our clients. So that’s sort of like how we’ve set it up and we’re, and we’re, we’re scaling along with our clients as they grow, we’re growing with them. And it’s been amazing to have these long-term partnerships where they trust us. And we feel really proud to be supporting the industry in the way that we do.

[00:17:08] Yeah,

[00:17:08] Bryan Fields: I love it. And the ecosystem that you’re currently building, it’s incredible to watch as a marketer by trade. So just to see the opportunities and to grow that your company’s experience is just amazing to watch. So I want to talk to you about some of those companies, curely terrace, engage a company, works with a bunch of the leaders in this space.

[00:17:25] So who is one of the companies that is kind of under the radar that many of our listeners might not be aware of? That you’re kind of like these guys are going to do really big.

[00:17:33] Rosie Mattio: Oh, gosh. I mean, there’s, there’s so many are doing so many things, but I think gage was like a great example, right? So like we’ve been working with a gauge for a year now.

[00:17:40] And like we were watching what was happening over there, like incredible brands in Michigan, like such a strong leadership team. Like when they open a store there’s lines around the corner. And like, there were a single state operator and there was like a little bit of buzz around them. And you know, we are long-term partners, a terrorist and, you know, Jason Wilde made a big investment engage early on.

[00:17:57] We were like watching what happened. Something’s gonna happen. You’re like these guys are on a rocket ship and then, you know, we found that, you know, right before, cause we did the work around the terrorist and was acquiring them. So like we love watching those things come to fruition. We’re also working with like a new technology solution called the Spence female led and.

[00:18:16] Powering some like rate e-commerce in the industry. I’m very new, just the announcing, like their seed round, but she’s like powering some of the largest MSO. So watching them and this that’s a lesson, actually, people listening, like there’s a lot of technology solutions in this space that have been around a long time, but like Kyla.

[00:18:34] The founder has this incredible technology and some of the bigger operators are taking a bet on our, because it’s so good. So the lesson is a lot of people couldn’t be like, it’s too late to join the industry. No, it’s like still such early days. There’s just so much opportunity. So I love watching, you know, a female founder come in and, and take on some like big accounts.

[00:18:50] Like she works with like a set and another one of our clients. Wh, and I love when I went to the AWS website yesterday to see what products they had said, powered by dispense. That’s so cool to watch somebody so new in this space, any traction among one of the biggest players. So there’s a lot happening in the industry right

[00:19:06] Bryan Fields: now.

[00:19:07] That’s an incredible across the board. Everyone’s kind of grown, but there’s all these other needs and dynamic opportunities. Are you sometimes sitting with the client and this is maybe my misunderstanding of how the kind of space works, but if you’re sometimes sitting with a client, you’re like, you know what, I got to make an introduction to these guys because they’d be great partners.

[00:19:23] Is that kind of sometimes the role that you play, where you’re kind of playing like matchmaker

[00:19:26] Rosie Mattio: there? Yeah, it is. And I say that that’s part of the value of working with us and we do have an ecosystem. Right. So It’s like, for example, we work with spring break customer loyalty platform. We’re been them for five years now.

[00:19:38] I think, you know, it’s not part of our job. I don’t get paid to do this, but like we know their technology is awesome. So we’ve made a lot of interest to our dispensary clients and brand clients that you got to try this. And a lot of them and use them and then nothing makes us happier than seeing our client’s partner.

[00:19:53] Right. Or even like, just some of the fun things that have happened is that we were representing a SPAC and then we were representing an MSL and next day or a single state operator. And next thing you know, like, they’re like, we’d like to introduce you to our PR firm. And it was the same PR firms. So we did like the glass house and brand spec.

[00:20:11] And I was like, and it happened like three times already. We like it because now they’re timestamps and it’s like, well, do you know, RPR for firm? We should get them together. And it’s been us. So like, we fricking love that. It’s just like so much fun. Or also like I posted this morning on Twitter. Like there was a Forbes story that ran about Florida and we had like three different clients for different clients, like folded in it.

[00:20:30] So some people like a lot of the questions we asked. Pitching finds like, well, how do you deal with conflict? Right? You work with so many companies, like, how do you choose a favorite child? I’m like, I don’t have to there’s room for everybody. And he called them like, quote, unquote, like the hashtag , we’re able to get a lot of clients because like, we become this like go-to agency, the reporters come to us, we’re able to give them like somebody doing ancillary, somebody.

[00:20:53] Doing a brand or product. And like, that’s an amazing thing. Like, yes, we got everybody yet. So I think that’s part of the value of working with us as well as we have this ecosystem. And like we had a party at MJ biz two years ago. And what I loved was that after it’s how much business. Like I’ve done it, that party just because he brought people in a room and we try to align ourselves with best in class, good people.

[00:21:13] Like we have like a note, like quote unquote, asshole policy here. So we feel really proud of, and people just like meet up and are able to work together.

[00:21:20] Bryan Fields: Yeah. And I think that that kind of trust with the relations with reporters so, so important, especially in Canada. So many people have been burned kind of by bad introductions and relationships.

[00:21:29] And it’s so crucial early on to make sure that the partners that you’re aligning yourself with are the right type of partners moving forward. Because like you were saying, rosy, like relationships and reputation are so, so key right now, especially early on in this

[00:21:41] Rosie Mattio: space. Absolutely. It’s all about relationships.

[00:21:44] And like I said, my entire business has been built on referrals. Right. Like and that’s one thing. Because it’s such a small industry and we doing this so long, like I think I’m such good friends with so many of my clients, like some of my closest friends now are clients like who would have thought, I just think it’s something special in the industry that some really great humans and like, you know, we’re all building this together and you do feel that comradery, like you don’t feel like the, I mean, it’s getting more competitive obviously, but you don’t feel that competition.

[00:22:12] Like I felt in other industries they just feels very different, which is just part of the fun of it

[00:22:17] Bryan Fields: But one of the areas that I definitely want to bring up is some of the incredible pro bono work you’re doing about helping the industry move forward. Can you kind of shed some light on that to let some of our listeners understand that, you know what cannabis is a ton of positive opportunities?

[00:22:28] There are still some issues going on that some people just might not realize are still affecting the space.

[00:22:33] Rosie Mattio: Yeah. So given our growth and the position that we’re in, you know, it’s not lost on us. So there’s some people that are incarcerated for the war on drugs. It’s, you know, how have these affected communities?

[00:22:44] They have been, you know, basically terrorized by the war on drugs is not lost on us. We feel like it’s our responsibility to give back and help in any way we can. So. He’s done some things like you know, fundraising activities, but then we realize that and, you know, donated a bunch of it, which is great money, super important, but we realize that there’s a lot we can do with that skill set to help some entrepreneurs that are trying to get a leg up in this space.

[00:23:07] Like our services do not come cheap. We launched almost a year ago, the pro bono program to help, you know, diversity candidates with their marketing. So there’s an application process. You go on our website, you can find it and we take on. Three companies per quarter and we help them figure out their social media plans to public relation plans.

[00:23:25] We, we work on it, you know in earnest to get them started so that they understand like how to set up a marketing program and we do completely, you know, free and it’s been great because then, then we see, you know, a press placement for our company and it goes a long way media. So we feel really grateful that we’ve been able to do that.

[00:23:43] I’m not going to continue to do that. We’re going to continue to find other ways to, you know, invest in help given our skillset. And our time is very valuable. So it’s, it’s been great to see that happen and the team is super pumped and super jazzed about it. And also something we’ve done is, you know, we are communicators.

[00:23:58] And then I have my podcast. We also launched a second podcast and agency called high priority. Which aims to elevate the voices of those affected by the war on drugs and raise some of the issues that are about around diversity and inclusion in the industry and shed light on those to keep that conversation going.

[00:24:14] So that’s a core tenant for the agency and it will be forevermore

[00:24:18] Bryan Fields: glad you brought that up. Cause I really wanted to bring that up and highlight the importance of that because telling like, well, we’ve talked about it. It’s one of those where sometimes it gets kind of lost in the shuffle that people still are incarcerated in this space and that there.

[00:24:29] Hey, your opportunity for all, when they’re trying to kind of position themselves in. And so Kelly, what can others do besides kind of help support Rosie and contribute to the positive movement of this?

[00:24:39] Kellan Finney: I think what Rodney said, money always helps. Right? So like donating to some of these non-profit organizations.

[00:24:44] But I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is people just need more action, right? Like if you’re in a legal state, reach out to your legislators and reach out to people that actually can make a change from a legal standpoint, right? Because at the end of the day, boots on the ground is really what’s needed more people actively participating in change associated with.

[00:25:07] Getting people out of, out of prison for something that you’re consuming legally, right. They in Colorado, it’s completely legal. Anyway, if you’re over 21, you go, go buy cannabis. And there’s still people in prison for selling cannabis. Right. And there’s people making tons of money for doing it right now.

[00:25:22] And so. Actively participating, getting involved in these non-profit organizations that are trying to right this wrong, if you will. And I mean, and if you’re a lawyer or something like that, donating your time from pro bono perspective, or if you’re actively participating in the industry, doing the things that Rosie is doing, as far as helping the social equity portion of, of the industry move forward, I think is, is one of the most important things you could do and getting the word out right.

[00:25:48] Continuing to talk about it, I think is going to be one of the most crucial things, because this isn’t going to be like, okay, we opened the thoughts it, and all of a sudden everyone gets released, right? Like this is going to, this change is going to take time. Right? The legal process is low, very, very slow.

[00:26:02] So in order to right this wrong, it’s going to be a long journey if you will. And we just need to keep talking about it and keep bringing it to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Am I.

[00:26:14] Bryan Fields: I think it’s so important and kind of continuing on that path. So Rosie, when you’re speaking to some of these reporters and trying to help them understand the kind of issues in the space, is this a common conversation you’re having with them?

[00:26:23] Like, Hey, we need to bring more lights than can you kind of shed some light on how, how

[00:26:27] Rosie Mattio: that works? Yeah. I mean, we feel like it’s our job as like this conduit between media and our clients to, to educate, you know, both. So yeah. I mean, we work very, very hard with our clients to make sure. A lot of them already doing the work themselves to have to create these programs.

[00:26:42] And obviously we’ll work to promote it, or we’ll come to this idea that, you know, we’ve learned about this organization and doing great work, the local partner, maybe you guys want to do that. It’s, we’re doing that. And then we’re also working with the media to make sure that they know what our clients are doing.

[00:26:53] So the more attention we can get on the good work that’s happening the better it is me for everybody. And it, you know, even just a little bit of like, you know, pressure to make sure that like people know that there’s something they need to be investing in cause of the right thing.

[00:27:06] Bryan Fields: Yeah, it’s incredibly important.

[00:27:08] So let’s slightly switch gears as one of the leaders of the industry. What is one idea or concept that others in the industry might not be

[00:27:16] Rosie Mattio: aware of? Oh my gosh. This is like a hard question as it relates to

[00:27:19] Bryan Fields: what anything cannabis.

[00:27:22] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, I think that at least for like, from RC I think there’s two things.

[00:27:25] I think people outside the industry, like don’t necessarily realize that there is still some stigma to break down. Right. So I think there’s that. And that’s what, like our job, making sure that, you know, we’re stopping the stellar jokes and all that type of thing. I think with any industry, I also think that we have to educate our clients leads from our RC, that, you know, the mainstream media is.

[00:27:46] It’s still not there yet. So like, while we might have like incredible products, like it’s still gonna be a long haul to get media, to write about like cannabis flower and have them understand that, like, while it is a CBG, like there’s other type of marketing mix that we’re going to need to do to raise visibility for like, what is like the biggest part of the industry, you know, which is still flour.

[00:28:04] So those are the things that I think people don’t realize least from our CMO. We do

[00:28:09] Bryan Fields: love it. All right. We’re going to go to a quick, rapid fire. Oops. Okay. I’m trying to do. Which meal would you prefer? Infused pizza or spaghetti? Bolonaise

[00:28:19] Rosie Mattio: oh, you looked at my bio, you know, my two favorite foods. Oh my gosh.

[00:28:23] You know what? I’m dying to try that Stony pizza. So I’m going to go.

[00:28:27] Bryan Fields: Yeah, that one, that one looks good. Every

[00:28:29] Rosie Mattio: time you post my last meal on earth is Bolonese or pizza. So I

[00:28:33] Bryan Fields: needed to know which one you’re going to choose. If you’re going to choose one Kellin pizza forever pizza, pizza rider dash using cannabis.

[00:28:41] When working out can be beneficial, true or false

[00:28:44] Rosie Mattio: trail. It’s totally true. I’m, I’m a big proponent of it for before, during, after.

[00:28:51] Bryan Fields: Different products for different times or?

[00:28:53] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, so I use sometimes I’ll have like a little bit of a, of a sativa before I work out. It gives me, it gets me in the zone.

[00:29:01] I use the topicals for for any, for muscle pain. I love that cause like I’m a big athlete. And then to sleep, I use cannabis asleep because of. It gets beat up by my workout. So yeah, I use it a bunch and it’s been also like recently I changed my bodybuilding competition and I couldn’t drink because like, I, my calories were so low, but I want it to hang and chill, but this is like not a rapid fire answer.

[00:29:22] I’m a big talker, as you can tell. But I wanted to go out with my girlfriends and have. But like, I couldn’t afford the calories when they were so low and I was training for this competition. So I would drink the cannabis beverages, like select squeeze. I’d keep that in my purse or a can. So yeah, I, I switched alcohol for cannabis and it really helped me hit my fitness

[00:29:40] Bryan Fields: goals.

[00:29:41] I appreciate you posting those. It helps motivate me when I got to get my lazy ass off the couch to kind of work out. I see you’re posting, like, you know, and I, I can do it

[00:29:49] Rosie Mattio: if I have time. I I’d like a no excuse that the gap I have time. Anybody has that. Yeah, I

[00:29:53] Bryan Fields: appreciate that. So killing fitness. True or false.

[00:29:56] True. I mean,

[00:29:58] Kellan Finney: your eyes get red when you smoke, which means it’s a vasodilator, which means you’re increasing blood flow. So I think that it could be a performance enhancing drug, maybe, you know, as we’ve

[00:30:06] Bryan Fields: seen from the Olympics already performance enhancing. All right. 10 years from now, cannabis beverage will be larger from a category standpoint than flour, true or false, I

[00:30:20] Rosie Mattio: think falls, but I think it’ll grow.

[00:30:23] Bryan Fields: Same. I think it’s

[00:30:23] Kellan Finney: false. I think flour is what cannabis really is. And it’ll always be that way. In my opinion, you just can’t replicate. I mean, maybe they can, there’s some smart scientists out there, but right now I just think the quick onset of consuming flour is going to be really, really challenging to, to overcome from any, any other product category.

[00:30:43] Bryan Fields: I’m going to take the beverage side. I am so bullish on that category.

[00:30:47] Rosie Mattio: I mean, I love them. I love beverages and also truth. The matter is like we’re seeing like, you know, that’s where the constellation investment is. Right? So like, I think some of these, you know, welcome it and we’re seeing cannabis out piece alcohol and wine in some states like Illinois.

[00:31:01] So it’s definitely growing. I just think flowers still can.

[00:31:05] Bryan Fields: And, you know, hangover opportunities like, like I’m with you. I’m curious though, like, when they talk about like adoption of new product categories, for the people who don’t smoke flower, some more of the people who are as in with the smoking, the drinks are going to be so enticing for them because from a social standpoint, I think that people still have the stigma of like smoking and cannabis in college, but once they try one of these seltzers, I think their eyes are going to just completely light up because they had the bad experience with the edible or they had an off putting one and then they try this beverage and they’re like, so I can feel amazing.

[00:31:36] I don’t have an hangover and it tastes.

[00:31:39] Rosie Mattio: But I tried Levia last night by an air just to acquire Levia it was delicious and it was five milligrams. Like the perfect demand gives you that little buzz. So I’m a huge beverage fan. Like that is my favorite category. How many of

[00:31:52] Bryan Fields: those two do people drink, right?

[00:31:53] Like, I’m so curious. Cause like from alcohol standpoint, a lot of people are consuming so many of those as like a social standpoint, but from a cannabis one, like, is that going to be one where you can consume multiple? Is that depending on the tolerance

[00:32:04] Rosie Mattio: dependent tolerance and the product, right? Like the cans are two and a half milligrams.

[00:32:09] So like five to 10 milligrams is my sweet spot. So I, and they have a highway which is five, so I would eat the drink two high, right. Same thing with Olevia I think a five is great. So just depends on your tolerance. It sends a different tolerance. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:21] Bryan Fields: Excited to kind of get those here in New York where I can place my, my alcohol that really nicely.

[00:32:26] So kind of switching gears when we’re rapid fire, since you’ve been in the cannabinoid industry, what has been the biggest mistake?

[00:32:33] Rosie Mattio: The biggest misconception is that we’re all like, you know, stoners and it’s like, and people don’t realize that this is like, people are still not hipped, that this is like a real industry that like, we’ve got like a booming agency.

[00:32:45] It, that people just like, it’s like a mystery of what we do. And like, just like when we used to rent food and perfume, there’s like, no difference. So that, and also the misconception is that, like I mentioned earlier, that it’s like too late. It is still such an early ending. I know you’re seeing the buzz now.

[00:32:59] We don’t even have banking. We don’t have, like, there’s still some states that don’t have it. This doesn’t, these are just medical, like it just so early. So those people that have that FOMO, like get in,

[00:33:08] Bryan Fields: jump in, right. And it’s one of the fastest growing markets from an east coast standpoint, the states are just coming online, which means these companies just kind of lay their groundwork for.

[00:33:18] So before we do predictions, we ask all of our guests, if you can sum up your experience in the cannabinoid space into one main takeaway or lesson learned to pass onto the next generation, what would it be?

[00:33:30] Rosie Mattio: It’s such a good question. I mean, and, and this, I would say about, I guess I says I’m with industries and just about like how it, my philosophy on business, it just really like investing in the relationships and especially in cannabis, like it’s still like, so yeah.

[00:33:44] That, you know, we really need to like build an incredible network of trustworthy people that are all, you know, marching to the beat, the same drum. So investing in the relationships and really getting to know people and understand like, you know, how they tick, I think is just like a great business lesson and something that I’ve just seen play out in cannabis.

[00:34:02] So anybody coming into industry it’s like invest in relationships. Like obviously it’s like a big opportunity, but like, don’t be so opportunistic. You’re not taking time to meet learn because I’ve, you know, learned when you listen. When you listen and learn from others, like that’s the way the world war

[00:34:17] Bryan Fields: that’s really well said.

[00:34:18] All right. Prediction time. We’ve seen incredible growth in the cannabis industry. What area, anywhere on the board is still untapped in your opinion. I

[00:34:29] Rosie Mattio: still think actually it’s beverage, right? Like it’s still such a, it’s like less than 1%. Like I went through there. It’s going to be. It’s going to be a monster.

[00:34:37] I also think incorporating, you know, cannabis like into exercise. I think we’re going to see like a lot of that. We’re seeing some more books come out. So I do think we’re going to see more of that in future.

[00:34:47] Bryan Fields: That’s the good one. I was going to say beverage,

[00:34:48] but

[00:34:48] Kellan Finney: I’ll, I’ll, I’ll think of something else.

[00:34:50] As far as product categories, I think edibles there’s just right now, it’s like, you can get gummies, you can get. You can get maybe some hard candies. So I think that you’ll start to see more edible products, like maybe like granola bars or something. That’s more like health conscious because like right now you go to the dispensary and 99% of the edibles on the shelf.

[00:35:14] Really really high in sugar. Right. And so I think that potentially there is going to be an opportunity for a brand to launch a product that is more health conscious instead of like these gummies and these really, really sweet chocolates and hard candies. Right. I think that that’s probably the most under represented.

[00:35:33] At least from an edibles perspective, in my opinion.

[00:35:35] Rosie Mattio: And I also think something that we’re going to see, and it’s not necessarily a form factor. It just seemed more experiences. I think we’ll start seeing more of that with some of these more cosmopolitan cities coming up like New York or single out consumption lounges.

[00:35:46] So I think we’re going to start seeing more on premise stuff going on that’s because like, you know, people want to do cannabis, you know, when they’re doing things. Right. So I think we’ll start seeing more of

[00:35:55] Bryan Fields: that. Yeah, and I think it’s gonna help from educational standpoint. I think the experience of that will be so amazing because people will learn that cannabis can be used in many different, just like Rosie was saying, like, she needs those, like a pre-workout you can use it as a post and you can use as a recovery to help sleep.

[00:36:12] Like I think that starts with educating people and putting them through experiences like the tourism and those consumption lounges. Exactly. I think what’ll help kind of. The industry forward from, from that angle.

[00:36:24] Kellan Finney: So I also think that helps because if you like compare cannabis to alcohol and you’re like, oh yeah, I’m just going to go home and drink a six pack.

[00:36:32] Like people look at you strange if you’re like, oh, you’re just going to start drinking by yourself. Like versus, oh, I’m just going to go home. And people consume cannabis by themselves. But with consumer lounges, I think it’ll really, really help with that cultural stigma. Cause you’ll be like, oh, Look, everyone else is consuming as well.

[00:36:48] So like it’s more of a kind of mainstream

[00:36:51] Rosie Mattio: thought process going around the couch. Like I love to go to a concert and have, have cannabis. Right. So I love how, like it’s so much more fun going to combination of laughing when we be laughing, like great.

[00:37:04] Bryan Fields: Exactly love it. So for Rosie, for our listeners that want to get in touch, they want to learn more, you know, where can, where can they hear more with

[00:37:11] Rosie Mattio: you active on social media?

[00:37:13] You can find me on Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter I’m out there. But also our website, there’s lots of ways to contact us. Definitely feel free to hit me up on, on social cause I’m pretty active and I try to respond to awesome. Yeah.

[00:37:25] Bryan Fields: So we’ll, we’ll go ahead and link those up in the show notes.

[00:37:27] Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to seeing you in MJ.

[00:37:31] Rosie Mattio: Yeah, I can’t wait. You got to come to the Matio party. We’ll send you the invites going out today.

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