Recently, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi sat down with Tracy Lamourie for MJ News to discuss the exciting launch of her groundbreaking new venture A New Cannabis Channel.
Here’s a peek into that conversation:
TRACY LAMOURIE: You have been doing some amazing things in the media and the cannabis space, and now you are combining the two in a way that I don’t think people are seeing just how groundbreaking it is!
KERRI ACCARDI: Maybe that’s because we didn’t Press Release our every move!
TRACY: Right! But now you are finally ready to let some of the secrets out! Can you tell us a little bit about the exciting things you have got going right now?
KERRI: Absolutely! I’m the founder of 420MEDIA, a full-service marketing and content creation agency. Over the past 6 years we have been documenting the legalization of cannabis in the US. Currently we are in the process of launching a cannabis TV channel across ROKU, Apple TV, Firestick TV, Android TV, two mobile apps and online, with original programming, including a docu-series.
We are bringing education through entertainment with unprecedented opportunities for targeted advertising to cannabis and CBD companies. We are super excited to take a very fragmented space and streamline the information to the mainstream while showcasing products and services in a way the public has yet to see.
There are so many people that they hear about CBD or they hear about the benefits of cannabis, but they don’t know where to find a product or even worse they try a product that’s called CBD and it doesn’t work and right away they’re judging CBD as nonsense, but when you read the bottle it’s really hemp seed oil or something that doesn’t have CBD in it at all.
We really want to help guide people seeking knowledge. At the end of the day, we all have an endocannabinoid system with receptors for the plant on a molecular level. I don’t think the majority of people really understand that – and when they do it’s going to be a game changer.
TRACY: Absolutely- you’re talking education, you’re talking entertainment, the business of cannabis, literally anything relating to cannabis you will find on this channel. I know to bring something like this together doesn’t happen alone and you really have been able to gather an incredible team, some big names not just from cannabis but from the advertising world, from the world of marketing, from the world of media – you are bringing them all together, can you tell us about some of the people you have behind you and some of their experiences before joining you on this groundbreaking project in the world of cannabis.
KERRI: We have a phenomenal team that has come together absolutely from the mainstream industry. We have Emmy award winners; we have advertising executives – in fact the person who is creating our logo created one of the most iconic advertising campaigns I think ever in the world!
KERRI: We will put names and more information and promo out over the next few weeks.
TRACY: I’m excited to see this develop. Can you tell me some more about the content, and I know it is incredible – you have got people at the top of their industries from athletics to the medical fields, not just one doctor but probably ten from across America – can you tell us a little bit about the content and the experience of gathering that over the years? I know it is a literal library, or a museum of cannabis history over the last few years.
KERRI: Yes -we have a massive library of professionally filmed content – literally over 300 pioneers- on camera plus products, music, panels and speakers, and original programming.
Super bowl champion Marvin Washington hosts one of our series which explores cannabis from an athlete’s perspective. We have him in a CBD lab, pharmacy, events, as well as closed sets interviewing fellow NFL players and nurses – so it really is different insights coming through him.
Then we have another series hosted by a nurse and educator Heather Manus that is more geared to the medicinal side of the plant. What is the endocannabinoid system? Dosing, our receptors, what are the products and the different methods of ingestion and how does it affect us. Why is this plant working for people? We have another series called “Faces Of Cannabis” featuring over 30 pioneers sharing their story and insight into cannabis – from Wanda James who is on Netflix right now, to a child named Landon Riddle who is cancer free for seven years and he is nine years old to Dr Dina, the women the show “Weeds” was based on. We have a lot.
TRACY: I know you have spoken in the past about the personal part of your mission.
KERRI: It’s super simple. I left New York on December 10th, 2013 I left on a mission to educate the world about cannabis. My Aunt Kathy died. My best friend, my mentor, my everything. She died, and she didn’t have to. She definitely didn’t have to suffer like I watched.
I knew that no one would listen to me unless I knew what I was talking about, so I started at the bottom, literally – learning how to grow, meeting with patients, doctors, growers, lobbyists and more. This was back in 2013 in CA – it was a much different world.
In January 2014 NY quazi- legalized medical cannabis through executive order and thus 420MEDIA was born.
TRACY: What a journey. Somewhere your aunt is smiling down on you right now saying, ‘WOW! I inspired all this.’ You really are changing the world with this. That’s not just language, people are going to see that as this develops – it’s going to be epic.
KERRI: What people don’t understand is that cannabis isn’t new, this medicine isn’t new, even the cannabis industry isn’t new – it’s new in the regulated space. California has been legal-ish for over twenty years and has been helping thousands of people.
TRACY : Now let’s talk a little about the business of cannabis, and I know from a business perspective it’s often difficult to get your message out in the space, struggles around advertising, struggles around restrictions and limitations on social media, lots of barriers about getting your message out there that we don’t face in messaging with other consumer products. So what you are doing is absolutely valuable to people in the cannabis marketing space. Can you tell us a little bit about this really unprecedented advertising opportunity?
KERRI: Everything was born out of a problem, and the problem is that brands do not have a place to advertise consistently. I learned about this over the past 6 years of owning an agency and having different television deals and advertising opportunities. They can just change their mind and the rules and the pricing and all sorts of craziness. This was created to enhance cannabis brands and products and give them a place to advertise and share their information very similar to television and TV commercials and when we go back into production we will have opportunity for product placement and sponsorships, so it is a space that will literally give brands the opportunity to showcase their product in high level content that has a truly targeted audience – because you aren’t coming to this channel to watch a baseball game. You are coming to this channel to learn about cannabis
What’s the value of your athlete CBD cream being seen in a series hosted by a Super Bowl champion who also happens to have a case going to the Supreme Court over the legality of cannabis? What does it mean to have your brand showcased amongst medical professionals discussing the benefits of cannabis?
KERRI: Yes! What we are doing now, given the COVID-19 situation, is selling permanent placement in three of our series where we will build in commercials to showcase those brands and services. If you are in a series with Marv Washington, for example, you are in there forever. So, brands are getting multiple digital assets and a lifetime value. If they don’t have a commercial, we can have it created for a slight up-charge. If they do have a commercial, they can send it to us, and it will literally be edited in as if it was a part of that series. It is only for our inaugural series!
TRACY: So right now, anyone can get in on the ground floor, in there forever, they can basically write their own story right now as far as where they want to be. As a publicist and a marketing person, I’m definitely excited about this for my own brand and for my clients, it’s great to be able to get in on the very beginning.