The Wild Woman of Weed
If you don’t know Zoe Wilder, you should.
A Los Angeles-based PR goddess, she is a vocal supporter of all of the craft producers working so hard to make it in the Cannabis industry.
With a large number of brands under her belt, Zoe gives each of her clients an abundance of support. She helps emerging Cannabis companies find great success in this new unchartered paradigm.
But how did Zoe get her start in Cannabis? We asked her some questions to get the low down on her journey to the industry, how she got her start in the business, and why she does what she does so well.
What is your professional background and what were you doing before you entered into Cannabis?
Fresh out of college, I moved to New York City and began working in publishing and communications at the American Thoracic Society (ATS), a leading medical association dedicated to advancing lung, critical care and sleep medicine. During my ten years there, I gained quite a bit of experience on the editorial side of things and worked closely with members of the press. It was a really great career opportunity that helped me hone my skills, but lacked some of the creativity I craved. As a result, I spent free time producing cool art salon parties in my Brooklyn loft, choreographing performance art pieces for underground raves, reading original poetry at events around the city, shadow dancing alongside my favorite DJs and bands, interviewing indie artists for publications, modeling for photographers, and promoting bands in the live music scene.
While I was working full time at the ATS, I attended Fordham University to get my master's degree in the field of social work (MSW), where I began working with clients with mental health and substance use issues, as well as children with autism. After graduating with my MSW, I left the ATS and focused my attention on producing events, writing for various publications (including High Times, Big Buds Magazine, URB and MindBodyGreen), and began building my public relations business with my partner Mike.
What are you doing now and what is your involvement in the Cannabis industry?
I’m a professional publicist and business consultant orbiting cannabis, hops, music, wine, and wellness. We work with a carefully curated roster of amazing cannabis clients. Together, we advance the conversation through science-based research and education while developing best practices and setting trends in the global cannabis community.
Why did you get into PR?
Effective PR requires a certain skillset. It’s one I find appeals to my sensibilities. I also derive satisfaction helping people tell their stories and display their hard work. I enjoy highlighting businesses and people I’m passionate about and helping them grow. I love meeting new people and making meaningful connections.
What is your favorite thing about working in Cannabis?
It’s exciting. Unchartered territory...new scientific and cultural discoveries around every corner. Plus, my work is a form of activism. I can’t help but stand up for what I believe in.
What is your personal relationship with Cannabis?
Cannabis and I go way back. My mom normalized cannabis use as I was growing up, and admits to taking a toke or two when I was in the womb to relieve symptoms of morning sickness. I learned many valuable lessons from her about cannabis. You can read more on that in this fun article I wrote for Merry Jane. When I was 16, I began imbibing with my friends for fun and to help me sleep at night. I found it useful when it came to studying for exams in high school and college, all the way through to obtaining my master’s, too. As an adult, cannabis has become an essential part of my wellness routine. I’m a huge fan of balanced CBD/THC ratios and enjoy tinctures, concentrated cannabis oil, in addition to smoking and vaping flower. I find cannabis to be an excellent way to ease pain and discomfort, relieve stress, inspire creativity and improve sleep.
What do you think we need to be doing to strengthen the Cannabis industry moving forward?
It’s really important that prohibitionists begin to understand what a wonderfully natural and powerful plant this is. It has incredible health benefits. There’s a real reason why we’re seeing so much support for it...and this research is real. It’s helping people live better lives. It’s mitigating symptoms of Dravet Syndrome in children for goodness sake. There are naysayers, and I get it. People have been scared into believing it’s a gateway drug. A lot of it is nonsense. And, a lot of it is caused by fear mongering. The best antidote to fear is science. And the science is out there. This plant is changing the world for the better.
If you are looking to get in to the Cannabis industry, I highly recommend getting in touch with the wondrous Zoe Wilder. She is a kind, generous, smart wild woman who helps to elevate everything she touches. The industry and the world are lucky to have her.
Photo by Samuel Gehrke