CMA Member Spotlight: Evan Nison,
Founder & Owner, NisonCo
Member Evan Nison, Founder & Owner at NisonCo, provides insight into his role and his choice to become a member of Cannabis Marketing Association.
What is the nature of your day-to-day job?
NisonCo provides clients with public relations, marketing, and SEO services in socially beneficial industries like cannabis. I founded and am president of the company and often meet with our industry-leading clients. I’m also consistently refining our internal operations and trying to enhance and grow our services.
What brought you to the cannabis industry?
I am inspired to bring stigmatized issues like cannabis into the mainstream and have advocated for other once-taboo topics like Death with Dignity. My motivation to challenge attitudes about stigmatized issues brought me to the cannabis industry.
While in high school, I collected the number of signatures required to submit ballot initiative language to decriminalize cannabis in my hometown of East Brunswick, NJ. Although the effort was unsuccessful, this experience inspired me to continue advocating for the reform of cannabis laws.
I moved to California during college and campaigned for Prop 19, a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis. I planned to campaign during the summer and return to college. However, my plans changed: I skipped a semester and directed the campaign’s college outreach until election day. Sadly, we lost in a tight race. I returned to Ithaca College and established a Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter.
I went on to lobby for a Good Samaritan Law in New York. This law removed criminal penalties for 911 callers experiencing or witnessing a drug overdose. My first cannabis client hired me to provide public relations services during this experience, and I subsequently started NisonCo.
What do you bring to the cannabis marketing community?
NisonCo is a full-service cannabis PR, marketing, and SEO agency. We also lobby to change cannabis laws and develop a sustainable, ethical, and equitable industry.
I believe our company has developed a company culture that promotes professional development and a work-life balance. We have developed a company culture that can be modeled in the cannabis marketing community.
Last year, MG Magazine named NisonCo one of the best employers in the cannabis industry. I appreciate the NisonCo staff, past, and present, who have helped develop our creative company culture.
How has your job changed since cannabis was deemed essential? What does cannabis being deemed essential mean to you?
Consumer interest in online shopping increased after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This consumer behavior change led to a quick increase in demand for our SEO services, and we’ve been growing our SEO team ever since. Our cannabis clients increasingly demand SEO services as a result of the pandemic.
Cannabis went mainstream when the industry was deemed essential. The cannabis space is now a legitimate market that sells products people rely upon for health, wellness, and recreation. The cannabis industry became publicly vital after government officials deemed it essential.
Why did you join CMA?
Joining the Cannabis Marketing Association was an important business decision. We have enjoyed developing resources and events in partnership with the Cannabis Marketing Association. Membership benefits like the CMA blog posts are a valuable resource. CMA membership benefits increase access to our service offerings and promote our SEO presence.
CMA’s mission is to bring a positive perception to, and authentic understanding of, cannabis and its consumers around the world. How are you working to bring a positive perception to cannabis and its consumers?
NisonCo’s first contract was actually to lobby for an industrial hemp bill in New Jersey, resulting from the drug law reform advocacy I was doing since 2008. One of the things I love that makes the cannabis industry unique is that it was born of a social movement. Our advocacy and media work has helped change the public’s perception of cannabis and the laws regulating the plant. NisonCo delivered services that provided legitimization to the industry. This company helped bring cannabis to the mainstream.
I’ve stayed involved in advocacy, especially in New York and New Jersey. During the 2016 presidential campaign, I was able to press Hillary Clinton on her stance on the issue on Good Morning America.
Connect with Evan Nison and join him and hundreds of other cannabis marketers by becoming a CMA member today!
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