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Elevating New York’s only women-led cannabis brand

  • Public Relations
  • Media Relations
  • Communications Strategy
  • 5M coverage views
  • 650K social shares
  • Supported $247M sale to RIV Capital

While it is perceived as a more progressive and emerging industry, cannabis is still largely dominated by men. However, there are plenty of diverse, women-and-minority led brands, like Etain, that are becoming leaders in the space, and with a communications team well-attuned to the industry, their stories and successes can be told.

Expanding horizons beyond New York

Less than a year ago, the women-founded cannabis operator tapped Marino at a pivotal moment when the company announced winning a new license in New Jersey – marking the beginning of its transition into a multi-state operator (MSO).  

As Etain ventures outside of New York, so should the brand’s storytelling. By leveraging its deep expertise within the industry, Marino elevated Etain’s COO Hillary Peckham as an advocate for the medical cannabis program and leading female cannabis executive by securing coverage in national, local and trade outlets, which has helped to solidify the company’s expanding footprint in the cannabis sector and uplifted their story as a women-led business, especially as they look to enter the recreational market.

Showcasing the Etain dispensary experience

A key factor in elevating the brand was highlighting Etain’s newly opened and rebranded dispensary in Midtown Manhattan. With its opening overshadowed by the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the flagship location did not receive the spotlight it so rightfully deserved. Through strategic outreach that showcased the dispensary’s chic and artistic interior, along with the availability of CBD and lifestyle products that do not require a medical card, Marino was able to successfully relaunch the flagship dispensary.  

As a result, Etain’s new, beautifully designed and rebranded dispensary in Midtown East was featured in key metro, business and industry outlets following onsite media tours.  

Exposure through cannabis community events & partnerships

A significant challenge that comes with the cannabis industry is the limitations to traditional advertising and marketing, mainly thanks to federal prohibition. Due to this, Etain has turned to events and strategic partnerships to amplify their brand exposure, build relationships in the community and spread education and awareness about the medical program.  

Marino executed strategic media outreach highlighted Etain’s partnership with House of Puff to elevate their limited-edition rolling papers, which featured art from local artist and activist, Chris Wilson. By leveraging Etain’s role as the host for Chris Wilson’s corresponding art exhibit at the Manhattan dispensary, Marino secured local lifestyle and trade press.  

When Etain sponsored and hosted educational programming at Under Over Fest in Saugerties, located close to their Kingston location, Marino coordinated a local press push that resulted in coverage previewing the event and Etain’s role a leading sponsor and supporter of community events. 

By leveraging Marino’s connections in the cannabis industry and vast experience working within medical cannabis, Etain has been positioned as a go-to expert source to discuss the evolving East Coast cannabis market, along with New York’s medical program and has been positioned as a good-faith industry player that prioritizes community, patient and medical cannabis advocacy, and cannabis education.

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