People to know in NY cannabis: Jordan Isenstadt

Jordan Isenstadt is a senior VP at Marino PR, a NYC-based firm. He answered eight simple questions for NY Cannabis Insider’s ‘People to know’ series.

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What is your position and what do you/your company do in the cannabis space?

I am a senior vice president at Marino PR, a New York City based strategic communications firm, and founder of its cannabis practice. I oversee the strategic direction of our award-winning cannabis programs. We touch every aspect of the cannabis industry and work with MSOs, cultivators and processors, retailers, law firms and regulatory experts. Marino’s cannabis practice is mission driven. We see it as our duty to educate consumers, media and stakeholders about the varied applications of cannabis – from medical aid to an economic driver. I also regularly contribute to various cannabis and policy media outlets offering public relations insights, and was recently named a Cannabis Industry Power Player by PoliticsNY.

How long have you worked in the cannabis space?

I’ve been fortunate to work in the cannabis space for nearly six years. As anyone in the cannabis sector can attest, cannabis years are like dog years, so despite being a relative “newbie,” I’m actually a cannabis veteran.

What did you do before you were involved in the cannabis industry?

I started my career in government, working for State Senators Toby Stavisky and Liz Krueger, as well as for two New York State Governors (Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson). I also worked at Edelman, the Association for a Better New York and Ducere (a digital learning company). I’ve had the chance to work at the highest levels of the public, private and nonprofit sectors, which has prepared me exceedingly well for cannabis.

What led you to the cannabis industry?

As a longtime cannabis advocate, I observed the tepid rollout of New York State’s medical program and wanted to figure out a way to participate and help educate New Yorkers about the utility of cannabis. The leadership at Marino PR gave me some runway to learn more about the nascent industry and start networking with New York’s cannabis community. Within days of jumping in, we started engaging with new clients and it’s been a love affair ever since. I’ve been fortunate to build an incredible team of PR professionals who also share my love for working in this industry.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the NY weed industry?

The cannabis industry is not for the faint of heart. Over the last six years, I’ve experienced some of the highest highs professionally, as well as the lowest lows. Every day is different. Also, don’t join the cannabis industry unless you have true passion for the plant.

What do you think the NY cannabis ecosystem will look like in five years?

The interesting thing about New York compared to nearly any other state is that New York already has a thriving cannabis ecosystem. New Yorkers have always been on the vanguard of loving and appreciating high quality cannabis. As such, New York is already farther ahead in its cannabis normalization timeline. In five years, I’d anticipate an increasingly mature cannabis ecosystem with a fully fledged seed to sale pipeline, largely run by small businesses specializing in cultivation, processing and retail. Delivery has always been a major component of the NYS illicit cannabis ecosystem and I’d expect a particularly robust delivery apparatus. Finally, I believe that New York will be the social consumption capital of the country with loads of cannabis lounges around the state.

Do you use cannabis? If so, what’s your favorite method (flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, etc.), and why?

I’m a proud member of New York State’s medical cannabis program. It’s a privilege to be in the program and I’m excited to see its continued evolution, especially as the adult-use market rolls out.

Who should contact you, and what’s the best method (i.e. email, phone number, LinkedIn handle, etc.)

Anyone interested in learning more about how cannabis PR can help them or their business should contact me. Best way to reach is jisenstadt@marinopr.com or cannabis@marinopr.com.

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