Afternoon everyone! If you remembered from yesterdays press release, I was going to be on The Tal Rimoni Show at Salem State University. Junior Salem State student Tal Rimoni invited me in to discuss when public relations goes to pot. It was a great half-hour of questions, good laughs, memorable stories, and even some take-aways at the end of the series.
For those who couldn’t catch the show, here were some of the highlights of our discussion:
MakeSandcastlesNotWar Visits The Tal Rimoni Show
TR: So first, give a little background about yourself.
JC: So I transferred from Champlain College into Salem State University back in 2013 where I majored in Communications with a minor in Marketing & focus on Public Relations. I switched my focus from Media Studies to Public Relations after completing the first semester. There was this special event at school where I really enjoyed learning more about the PR industry. After the first semester I joined SSUPRSSA (Salem State University Public Relations Student Society of America) to get more involved with the public relations industry. PRSSA held weekly meetings that discussed things such as networking, agency tours, PRSSA Conferences, and many more exciting news. Since then, I graduated almost 2 years ago with a Bachelor’s degree in communications.
TR: What led you to work in this industry?
JC: I have been interested in cannabis since the 2012 elections when Colorado & Washington State legalized recreational cannabis, which was also the time when Massachusetts decided to go medicinal. While in college, I looked more into this booming industry that was happening in legal states. I conducted research about cannabis through Leafly, Weedmaps, and even from friends around the school. From strain effect to dispensaries, I looked through every aspect of this industry
TR: Do you smoke marijuana personally?
JC: Yes, I have consumed different types of cannabis products such as flowers, edibles and even tinctures. While trying some of this products out, I even learned about new products out on the market. I mostly enjoyed the different types of effect it had. Some strains made me focused and more energized for the day while other made me relaxed for the night.
TR: How do you network in the Cannabis Community?
JC: I attend networking events I find through social media or word of mouth. The main event that kicked things off was this ‘End of Prohibition’ party back in December 2016. That event connected me to a LOT of interesting people that played a major part in the cannabis industry. Ever since that party, I stayed connected with the people who host networking events to stay informed of what’s happening. Social media was also a big way to find out what events were happening around cities like Boston or Salem. Facebook was the major social media network where I found out about the events because I get many event invites sent out every week.
TR: Now that Marijuana is legal, has its use increased or decreased
from your perspective?
JC: Cannabis use has definitely decreased over the years because the regulated market made the business more sophisticated. Studies have shown decreased use in CO & Washington State since shops open up. Cannabis shops aren’t easily letting children or teenagers inside because they are being cautious when rolling out this industry. There is definitely more media attention spread about cannabis, but there hasn’t been major increase of cannabis use in general.
TR: Why has it taken so long for Marijuana to and still be legal?
JC: Mostly it has to do with politics. That ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset is still looming over people’s head, which has created many roadblocks in industry. Employees, especially those in the Communications industry, are very limited due to legality issues. Cannabis is STILL a schedule I drug on a federal level, so there is very little that we can do with this product.
TR: What is the future of the industry looking like?
JC: Other than just cannabis shops, I see cannabis being more integrated into our daily lives. You hear about things like Pot & Paint night and Cannabis Yoga which are just some of the beginning stages of the entertainment aspect of cannabis. Pretty soon you will see cannabis integrated with writing, arcades, movie theaters, etc. Personally, I would love to see a 4/20-themed jazz club where you consume cannabis and listen to jazz at night. I definitely see cannabis being more integrated with our daily activities.
TR: You have a blog yourself, so could you explain what you write generally?
JC: MakeSandcastlesNotWar started back in March 2016 as an entertainment PR blog. I write about many aspects of entertainment such as TV, movies, fashion, music, etc. Cannabis came into play in December 2016 when it was declared legal in MA. Some of my reoccurring entries include PR Nightmares, TV Criss-Cross, philosophical journeys, and other craziness. While the blog focuses on Public Relations, there is also topics about marketing and advertising.
TR: Well thank you so much for being on the show today Jon. Any final comments?
JC: Your welcome Tal! Here’s one thing to remember – Make SANDCASTLES, Not WAR. Thank you!