Cannabrand’s Founders Deal With Fallout from NY Times “Weeding Out the Stoners” Comment


Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco in a Facebook photo.

What initially seemed like a huge publicity score has turned into a challenge for Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco, founders of the marijuana PR firm Cannabrand. A quote attributed to Mannix that reads in part, “We’re weeding out the stoners” caused a backlash that led to a client very publicly dropping the firm, and Cannabrand’s attempts to manage the mess haven’t been especially tidy.

To get a sense of the situation, a timeline is in order. On October 3, the New York Times, which hasn’t always been the friendliest publication in regard to marijuana legalization — recall the firestorm over columnist Maureen Dowd’s bad reaction to a cannabis edible — published “In Colorado, a Rebranding of Pot Inc.” T
he piece profiles Mannix and DeFalco, who were said to represent “a new breed of entrepreneur in Colorado — young, ambitious and often female — that is trying to reach a more sophisticated clientele in everything from language to packaging to social events.”
Still, the grabbiest paragraph in the piece is this one:

“We’re weeding out the stoners,” said Olivia Mannix, the 25-year-old co-founder of a start-up called Cannabrand, an advertising agency devoted exclusively to marketing marijuana. “We want to show the world that normal, professional, successful people consume cannabis.”

More at the Denver Westword.