Sarah ElSayed said: “I just want women everywhere to do whatever they want. There are so many different avenues that you can take to access the cannabis industry, even if you live in a non-legal state!”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I’m the Brooklyn-based founder of Grass is Greener PR, a full-service creative marketing agency representing companies and activists in the cannabis space.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started working in cannabis in 2016, though I come from a background in media relations for clients spanning industries like entertainment, culinary, fashion, and design. Through my work in PR, social media, and copywriting, I’m challenging the mainstream narrative of cannabis consumption through creative education. There are plenty of stories to tell regarding scientific breakthroughs, legality, cultivation, and new innovations in product development and technology. I want to keep playing a hand in telling those stories, and eventually, be able to employ other women interested in the same.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I’ve been self-medicating with cannabis for over a decade. It’s helped me get a hold on my ADD, and has been by my side during times of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. I obtained a dual degree in public relations and neuropsychology because public perception and human behavior have always been points of interest for me. What better way to combine the two but with cannabis?
In 2016, during a late night at the office, a friend tagged me in a contest on Instagram to win a ticket to High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup. Reluctantly, I entered, and much to my surprise, I won! I was unable to make the event on such short notice, and ended up giving my ticket away to a friend. I spent the whole weekend stalking the winners from home, and kept seeing The Legion of Bloom dominate the vape categories. After a cold pitch, a few strategy calls, and mutual faith in one another, I landed my first cannabis client, and realized my true calling.
What is your Superpower?
I’m a fearless opportunist. If I wasn’t, I’d still be working at a traditional PR agency, where I stuck out like a sore thumb. Working in media, you must be at peace with the fact that you’ll either get ignored, or face rejection every single day — it’s just how it goes. I don’t dwell, because dwelling isn’t an efficient use of my time; instead, if I notice that a pitch isn’t working, I take a moment to re-group, meditate, do some research, and get into a creative space. Eventually, a new idea pops up, and I push through – fearlessly – with a new approach.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
Lack of funding is a huge obstacle! It’s so frustrating to have a vision that could be accelerated, so simply, by hiring help. I spent a full year working from home, even though it was terrible for my productivity, before being financially stable enough to move into a co-working space. I know that I’ll make it one way or another, but I’m practicing patience, and networking tirelessly until I get to where I need to be.
“There are plenty of stories to tell regarding scientific breakthroughs, legality, cultivation, and new innovations in product development and technology. I want to keep playing a hand in telling those stories, and eventually, be able to employ other women interested in the same.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
I just want women everywhere to do whatever they want. There are so many different avenues that you can take to access the cannabis industry, even if you live in a non-legal state! If you haven’t figured out exactly what you want to do, reach out to community groups, volunteer organizations, and small businesses. Just start the conversation. We all start somewhere!
My experience isn’t the same as anyone else’s experience, but overall, we’re working together with the common goal for a greener planet, and there’s space for all of us here!
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