MedMen’s New Commercial Chronicles The History of American Cannabis From Counterculture To Just Culture

MedMen’s The New Normal Taps Acclaimed Filmmaker Spike Jonze and Actor/Activist Jesse Williams to Normalize Cannabis

CALIFORNIA: MedMen Enterprises rewrote history yesterday with the debut of a disruptive new commercial that chronicles the American history of cannabis. Supported by the most expansive integrated marketing campaign the company has executed to date, The New Normal is directed by Academy Award-winning storyteller Spike Jonze and features actor Jesse Williams, best known for his longstanding activism and starring role in Grey’s Anatomy. The ad furthers MedMen’s vision where legalized and regulated cannabis creates a safer, healthier and happier world. Founded in 2010, MedMen is known for its disruptive advertising campaigns, innovative approach to cannabis retail and progressive legalization efforts.

The diverse creative team behind the project includes actor Jesse Williams, director Spike Jonze, Academy-Award nominated cinematographer Bradford Young and production designer James Chinlund, who is currently working on the upcoming Lion King movie.

MedMen launched a 360-degree approach to The New Normal campaign, which includes spots on connected TV networks (including Bravo, CBS Sports Network, Oxygen, MSNBC, Lifetime and Food Network), 80+ out of home assets, print ads (including national ad placements in Rolling Stone and US Weekly), Sirius XM, native integrations with Complex, podcasts and terrestrial radio, digital, pre-roll and programmatic ads. MedMen will also be advertising for the first time in hundreds of movie theaters across California, Nevada, and Michigan.

The commercial chronicles society’s evolving perceptions of the plant, from pre-prohibition to the modern industry of today. While looking back through America’s history, from George Washington’s hemp farm, to Reefer Madness propaganda, The New Normal takes the audience on a journey through the injustices of the past and a hopeful view for the future. Jonze and Williams collaborated to ensure that much of the commercial’s cast and crew had a personal real-life connection to the plant. Those individuals included military veterans who use cannabis to treat their PTSD, a former NFL football player who uses it as a substitute for opioids, victims of racial profiling and those who work in the emerging industry.

Jesse Williams, who also co-wrote the film with Jonze, will appear on the cover of EMBER volume 4, MedMen’s in-house magazine. The magazine will be free with purchase at every MedMen store beginning February 25, 2019. It will also be distributed at Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide and select boutiques, hotels and restaurants.

In addition to the commercial, Spike Jonze is creating a short documentary with filmmaker Molly Schiot that was shot on set and explores the themes of the short film in more detail. It was important to all involved to tell the stories of cast members who all have their own relationships with cannabis, including: veterans who have found cannabis as a way to treat themselves, former law enforcement, formerly incarcerated drug offenders and young entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.

All of this content as well as a brief history of cannabis and more is available on www.medmen.com.

Jesse Williams commented, “The highly selective criminalization of one plant, with flagrantly harsher punishments for one community, must be acknowledged and left behind for something more reasonable, realistic and fair. It’s pretty clear that Americans are ready to exist beyond a few inherited hypocrisies. We deserve the opportunity to make this right. We can do, and feel, better.”

When I read the premise about telling the story of the history of cannabis and our country, there was something that moved me about it. I apologize for using such a 2010’s word, but it felt healing to me. I didn’t know much about the specifics of the history, but as I learned about it, I felt like it was a story of a very dysfunctional couple. The relationship started in such a healthy place, with even our Founding Fathers having hemp farms, but it got so tragically messed up in the 80 years of prohibition that we couldn’t see straight. It was shocking to just sit in all the stories of so many people and so many lives that were unfairly hurt by the prohibition and the fear that was stoked by it, especially people of color. And it wasn’t just their lives, it was their families, too. And now we are starting to come out of it. We are at that point in a relationship where a couple is calming down after a fight and realizing how irrational they were and trying to make amends. I’ve never been into pot much or a huge advocate for legalization, but I’ve always supported it because it seemed absurd for the reasons we all know. And it always felt inevitable. But getting to do this, I got to learn the bigger picture of the whole story. I feel so hopeful, but the thing that sticks with me and upsets me is that there are still so many people that are still locked up for this plant that is now legal in so many places. That doesn’t make sense,” Spike Jonze stated.

“Cannabis is part of our country’s history. We’ve moved away from the propaganda of the past and into a world where cannabis is the new normal. We want this commercial to educate and embolden in equal measures. This is our opportunity to make a statement on a national stage,” said Adam Bierman, MedMen’s CEO & Co-Founder.

 

Historic First: Cannabis Education Campaign Kicks Off During NFL Super Bowl LIII

Twelve 30-Second Spots Debut During Super Bowl Broadcast on CBS Affiliate in USVI

NEW YORK: A women-owned digital marketing agency made history this weekend by managing to air its cannabis education ads during the much-coveted Super Bowl LIII broadcast. Featuring the Rastafarian Senator who led the fight for legal cannabis in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the spot is the first in a series for the cannabis online TV network Hmm Did You Know (HDYKshowcasing prominent voices from the cannabis industry and community.

A total of twelve :30 commercial spots aired during Super Bowl LIII programming on the USVI CBS affiliate, marking the first broadcast of a cannabis-centric public service announcement during NFL programming. The historic campaign is a product of 420MEDIA, a Seattle, NYC and Nevada-based digital marketing and media agency serving the legal cannabis industry.

In January, 2019, U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. approved a new medical marijuana law making the territory the latest Caribbean jurisdiction to open its doors to cannabis businesses and potential new tourism opportunities. The move has been years in the making, with voters having favored medical cannabis in a 2014 referendum. In addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, other U.S. territories that have approved MMJ include Guam and Puerto Rico.

It is only fitting then, that the spots that aired during this Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast feature former Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, the seven-term Senator from the island and now the commissioner nominee to the Dept of Agriculture, who was among the most prominent voices leading the fight for marijuana law reform.

“The rationale behind medicinal cannabis is real, the science is real, the economics behind it is real, the health behind it is real,  and the opportunities behind are very real” says the former Senator in the spot promoting Hmm Did You Know Online Cannabis TV Network.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be working with 420MEDIA, on the frontlines in the battle for legalization,” Senator Nelson said. “We must keep up the fight until the old wall of prohibition is completely broken down! Our collective efforts continue to change the mindset of individuals who have been bombarded with propaganda for over 80 years. Education is the key to removing stigma.”

“For years, there has been pushback on the national level, but local media markets with legal cannabis are slowly changing,” said 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi.  “We are extremely grateful to the USVI for taking the first step to educate the mainstream audience about the benefits of cannabis. This is the first of many slated for the cannabis education and awareness campaign with other renowned cannabis experts in the sports, medical and entertainment field sharing their wealth of information about benefits of medical cannabis. We look forward to breaking through new markets, and reaching audiences in legal cannabis states,” she added.

The public service announcement was co-sponsored by 420MEDIA along with several cannabis-based organizations and businesses including:

Humboldt Grace, a woman-owned cannabis strategic consulting company. Founder Lelehnia Du Bois offers her 45 years of experience to educate on the cannabis culture, work with individual, businesses, and organizations to develop successful strategies, and advocate for a healthy and sustainable industry.

The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), a leading cannabis business organization and publisher the MJNews Network and Marijuana Channel One.

Nature Nurse Products, utilizing the power of nature and knowledge of medicine to create products that support the biological Endocannabinoid system. Nature Nurse is a beautifully blended and synergistic combination of ancient plant wisdom which has been expanded upon through science to create high-quality, easy to use products to incorporate into everyday life supporting health and well-being.
Curved Papers, a new twist on Rolling Papers, Curved Papers was founded by Michael O’Malley, an MIT-educated entrepreneur whose innovative patented curved design makes joints Easy to Roll.

Vital CBD:  Age Vital pharmacy, research and wellness is your local community and compounding family pharmacy Sarasota. By working in the medical field closely with physicians and patients for several years, their primary commitment is to serve people who suffer from chronic conditions such as pain, inflammatory conditions, and stress.

Cannabis Marketing — Not Just Blowing Smoke

By Kerri Accardi

Turn on the TV at home, listen to the radio in the car, or surf the internet anywhere and you will be feed a steady diet of drug ads. Some are so frequent that you can recite the side effects by heart. But where are the cannabis ads? Why aren’t legal cannabis companies running media campaigns? We all know Budweiser is the King of Beers, but who is the Potentate of Pot?

The main reason we do not see more cannabis commercials, even in states that have medical and adult use laws, is not legal prohibition as you might suspect. It is because most cannabis companies are unaware that they are legally able to bring their cannabis business to both broadcast and digital media channels.

420MEDIA is a full-service media agency that works exclusively with cannabis brands. It has established distribution relationships across mainstream TV, industry and consumer print publications, digital media platforms, OTT, and dispensary programming, providing the cannabis and hemp industry with integrated cross-platform solutions across both traditional and new media marketing channels, enabling mass reach and demographic and geographic targeting.

It hasn’t been easy. The push-back has come from the cannabis industry shying away or questioning the validity of mainstream advertising. Broadcast television and mainstream radio have been extremely cautious, often changing their minds about broadcasting an ad at the last minute.

https://youtu.be/BA1yGPpIEo8

The landscape is changing rapidly. Patients are changing public perception about cannabis with their compelling and honest stories of hope. In the world of ‘Fake News’ real voices do matter. And the story of a person using cannabis to manage a medical condition moves the discussion beyond stoner jokes.

Education is the key. Informed consumers and regulators will be able to see through the myths and the misinformation. Whether it’s about the way cannabis affects our bodies, the economy, brands, products or our rights — we all need to know!

The cannabis and hemp market are growing at a rapid pace — lack of knowledge will be the only thing that holds us back from flourishing as an industry and nation. Within five years, cannabis and hemp will become more normalized through media, people will be healthier and wealthier, and our economy strong.


Kerri Accardi is the visionary behind 420MEDIA offering a unique combination of full-service digital marketing services, media distribution, and industry expertise.

 

AK Ventures Creates Mainstream TV Opportunity For Cannabis Brands

CALIFORNIA: America is curious about medical cannabis. Legal in 25 states, poll after poll confirm that the overwhelming majority of citizens supports the legalization of medical cannabis, even while admitting that they don’t know very much about the medicinal properties of the federally-prohibited plant.

Things are changing rapidly in the cannabis marketplace, with constant product innovation, improved standards and the emergence of brand building, sophisticated packaging and professional marketing and public relations in the cannabis space.

AK Ventures CEO Kerri Accardi believes medical cannabis is ready to go mainstream. Her new broadcast series, “Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power of Knowledge” is scheduled to debut this fall, supported by some of legal cannabis’ top new brands.

With a passion for the plant, New York business savvy, and sheer determination, Accardi has forged partnerships with leading channels in every major U.S marketplace that, for the first time in history she believes, will allow cannabis brands to be seen on main stream broadcast television.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with all the walks of life I’ve seen this amazing herb bring together,” Accardi said. “Knowing our series will bring the truth to light while bringing cannabis industry products and innovations to the public eye aligns with everything I personally started my soul mission for, I feel pure gratitude.”

Accardi and her team at AK Ventures are seeking cannabis related businesses to participate in “a modern day variety series” showcasing the healing benefits of cannabis!  Featuring well known athletes, doctors, nurses, patients, and others in professionally-produced segments the series is designed to be both entertainment and education, all packaged in a visually appealing and attention-getting TV format.

This exciting opportunity is available exclusively to one company in each product category in each marketplace.  The inaugural pricing is set at $10,000 for each verticals, including: Topicals, Medibles, Dispensary, Seed, Software, and Laboratories.

“Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power of Knowledge” Markets & Stations:

NEW YORK -WCBS

LOS ANGELES-KCBS, WLNY, KCAL

CHICAGO-WBBM

PHILADELPHIA-KYW, WPSG

DALLAS -FT WORTH-KTVT, KTXA

SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND- SAN JOSE-KPIX, KBCW

BOSTON(MANCHESTER)-WBZ, WSBK

DETROIT-WWJ

MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL-WCCO+

MIAMI-FT LAUDERDALE-WFOR, WBFS

DENVER-KCNC

SACRAMENTO-STOCKTON-MODESTO-KOVR

PITTSBURGH-KDKA

BALTIMORE-WJZ

ATLANTA-WUPA

TAMPA-ST PETE(SARASOTA)-WTOG

DETROIT-WKBD

SEATTLE-TACOMA-KSTW

LAS VEGAS-CBS

'Undercover Boss': Donatos Owner Jane Grote Abell Fires Worker For Smoking Pot On Job

NEW YORK: Workers are also human beings and so need to unwind at some point during their day. There are of course infinite ways to blow off steam in 2013, and increasingly, turning to marijuana is becoming an acceptable option in the U.S.; last year saw the complete legalization of marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington. Smoking up, however, it is still not as viable an option as having a cup of coffee. And Donatos pizza delivery driver Aaron learned this the hard way on the most recent episode of “Undercover Boss.” [Read more…]