Shaping the future of the cannabis industry.

Powerplant Strategies is a global communications, government relations, branding and business development firm exclusively focused on the cannabis industry.

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Through storytelling, content and technology we’re helping drive the responsible addition of legalized cannabis to the world’s social, medical, adult-use and commercial landscapes.

Made up of a network of experts around the country with decades of experience building campaigns that change behavior, advance policy, build communities, transform thinking and marketplaces and help companies succeed in the cannabis sector, we offer a range of strategic communications solutions for businesses, brands, nonprofits, foundations, associations, law firms, startups and others to build campaigns that create lasting change.

Powerplant Strategies has offices in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and a global network of experienced partners. 

We provide a full suite of communications, marketing, public affairs and government relations services to ensure our clients’ success.

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MEDIA RELATIONS + THOUGHT LEADERSHIP + PERSUASION CAMPAIGNS

Powerplant has deep-rooted and trusted relationships with top-tier journalists, producers, editors and influencers around the globe and creates award-winning campaigns to help our clients differentiate themselves and raise their profiles. 

  • Media Strategy
  • Thought Leadership Strategy
  • Persuasion Campaign Strategy
  • Messaging
  • Thought Leadership Strategy
  • Traditional Media Outreach
  • Blogger Outreach
  • Op-ed Writing + Placement
  • Rapid Response
  • Media Monitoring + Analysis
  • Media Training

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS + PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Powerplant provides targeted strategic and tactical solutions that address the diverse range of client issues and concerns at the international, national, state and local legislation levels, including:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Legislation + Regulatory Advocacy
  • Appropriations + Procurement
  • PAC Management
  • Coalition Building
  • Issue Development + Monitoring
  • Business Development

STRATEGIC INVESTING + BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Powerplant’s team can help your company start, grow and succeed in the space through investment counsel and business development offerings. 

  • Strategic counsel
  • Access to new markets
  • Investment strategies
  • Strategic partnerships

BRANDING + MESSAGING

Powerplant transforms research into insight and insight into strategy, empowering businesses to harness the value locked inside their brands, setting organizations apart from competitors and moving audiences. 

  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Strategy + Positioning
  • Naming
  • Brand Voice + Messaging
  • Logo + Identity Design
  • Visual Language Development
  • Packaging Design
  • Creative Services

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS + ISSUE MANAGEMENT

Powerplant helps clients navigate incredibly challenging obstacles and prepare for future developments. The team partners with clients in real-time until the crisis has abated.

  • Crisis Audit
  • Preparedness Plan Development
  • Response Training
  • Real-time Response

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS + CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Powerplant taps into our network of influencers, activists, talent relations, entertainment experts and sustainable companies to help you build partnerships that expand your reach and speed up progress.

Our team has significant experience designing, arranging and executing corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns, entertainment and athlete partnerships for global organizations who want to highlight their social impact.

We work with the most innovative players in the legal cannabis industry who share our vision for responsible growth. Select clients include:

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Vicente Sederberg, LLC

vicentesederberg.com

Vicente Sederberg LLC drives social change by helping clients create a responsible and successful cannabis industry.

National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

thecannabisindustry.org

The  National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the only national trade association advancing the interests of the legitimate and responsible cannabis industry.

The Arcview Group

arcviewgroup.com

The Arcview Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry including The ArcView Investor Network and ArcView Market Research.

Southern California Coalition (SCC)

southerncaliforniacoalition.com

The Southern California Coalition’s (SCC) mission is to collaboratively work to promote—and successfully implement—sensible marijuana policies, along with safeguards to regulate, control and tax the legal sale of cannabis in a way that protects and benefits Southern California’s communities, minorities citizens, law enforcement, municipal services, and workers.

Jane Technologies, Inc (Jane)

iheartjane.com

Jane Technologies, Inc. is the cannabis industry’s first complete online marketplace, providing consumers with a confident, safe and simple shopping experience.

THC Design

thcdesign.com

Over the past 7 years, THC Design has become one of the leading breeders and cultivators of cannabis in California. By utilizing the latest cutting-edge science and technology, our family-oriented team is dedicated to discovering best practices in order to provide safe medicine for those in need.

VICELAND

viceland.com

VICELAND is a multinational television channel brand owned and programmed by Vice Media.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

ssdp.org

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the only international network of students dedicated to ending the war on drugs.

Pharmacannis

www.pharmacannis.com/ny

PharmaCannis is one of the leading medical cannabis providers in the nation, with eight dispensary locations and three production facilities currently operating across multiple states, and more on the way.

Our team.

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Michael Huttner

Michael Huttner 
Chief Executive Officer

Michael Huttner is a corporate and political strategist, attorney and entrepreneur.  He is the current Political Director and immediate past CEO of Fenton, the global social change agency.  Michael initiated the first meeting in Colorado to decriminalize recreational cannabis which led to the drafting and passage of Amendment 64.   He previously served as President of the Huttner Group, Inc., a Boulder-based firm which helps solve complex financial, communications and public policy problems in a variety of industries. Michael has helped launch over 40 different political organizations and has led communications ‘war-rooms’ for political and private clients. Michael also is the Founder of ProgressNow, a network of state-based communications organizations that moves people to action through communications and digital media. Described as the “crown jewel” of progressive investors’ efforts to build messaging power in the states, ProgressNow continues to expand with more than 3.4 million members in 23 states   Previously, Michael was a founding partner in the Denver law firm of Foster, Graham and Huttner where he headed the firm’s political, nonprofit and lobbying practice. Prior to his private practice, he worked as Policy Advisor to Governor Roy Romer and clerked at the Clinton White House for the Office of the Counsel to the President   Michael also has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law. He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings Law School, where he served on the Hastings Law Journal, and his B.A. from Brown University.

Alex Howe

Alex Howe 
Managing Director

Alex brings more than 13 years of experience working in strategic communications and public affairs for a diverse range of cannabis, technology, Fortune 100 and issue-based clients including Google, NuVeda, ONE.org, G.E., Greenpeace, MoveOn.org, The Gates Foundation Formula 1, UFC, Nestle Waters, Time Warner, Inc., the New York Road Runners, DraftKings and Recorded Future.

Ellen Mellody

Ellen Mellody 
Senior Vice President

Ellen is a senior communications strategist and operative with more than 20 years of strategic communications, messaging, branding, media relations, social media, crisis communications, issues management and serving in the West Wing of the White House during the Clinton Administration, at Comcast-NBC Universal, General Electric, The North Face and Office of the New Jersey Governor, on three presidential campaigns, and as a partner at Collective Consulting.  Ellen has worked with clients and organizations such as Weedmaps, Vicente Sederberg, DCMJ, Weed for Warriors, DNC Convention, GE, ABC-Disney, CNN, BBC, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Big Machine Records and others.

Ellen Mellody

Leland Radovanovic 
Communications Associate

Leland is a public relations professional experienced in social justice, behavioral change, and advocacy campaigns. A long-time cannabis legalization activist, he’s worked in top communication positions in organizations such as the Cannabis and Hemp Association and the Cannabis Cultural Association. Leland has worked on local, state and national cannabis campaigns such as decriminalizing cannabis in New York City by closing NYPD’s “in public view” arrest loophole in 2014 and passing New York’s medical marijuana program in 2015.

He also founded a local New York City chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Through SSDP, he organized a local campaign implementing language from New York State’s Good Samaritan/Medical Amnesty policy at CUNY Baruch College and was part of the historic national campaign in November 2016 to legalize cannabis in several states across the country. 

Our network of experts is unmatched in the industry.

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Lisa Campbell 
Expertise: Public Relations (Toronto)

Lisa Campbell is the Spokesperson for the Cannabis Friendly Business Association and Principal Consultant at Mobile Revolutions, helping Canadian cannabis companies navigate legalization locally and globally. Lisa has worked extensively in drug policy over the years, inspired in part by her own family’s struggle against alcohol prohibition. As the former Outreach Director for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Lisa has a strong background in public affairs and PR.

David Fenton

David Fenton 
Expertise: Public Relations & Strategic Communications (New York)

Over four decades David pioneered the use of PR, social media, branding and advertising techniques for social change. David has worked with governments and international NGOs in Africa, Israel, Europe, Japan, Latin America and the Caribbean. David is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1976 he was an Editor at High Times, and then became Director of Public Relations for Rolling Stone magazine. He also co-produced the No-Nukes concerts in 1979 with Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and other artists.  In the early 1970s, David helped run the campaign that freed John Sinclair from his ten year for two joint prison sentence. He was active in passing Ann Arbor’s $5 marijuana law in 1972 and in getting the first legalization initiative on a state ballot, the Michigan Marijuana Initiative in 1973.

Joellen Ferrer 
Expertise: Marketing (San Francisco)

Joellen has spent the last 10+ years brand-building for a mix of consumer and B2B startups, wearing many hats and connecting the dots between marketing, communications, partnerships, and product. 
While in-house, she spent seven years legitimizing and mainstreaming a brand in a once-highly-regulated industry (StubHub) and three years reshaping brands going through pivots (Ustream, Mode Media). She’s currently helping companies elevate their brand awareness as a consultant for integrated marketing, communications, and content strategy. In the cannabis space, Joellen recently worked with PAX Labs to help the company develop a new corporate identity and the communications strategies to support this. 

Steve Fox 
Expertise: Advocacy & Strategic Communications (Washington, DC)

Steve is the co-founder and director of VS Strategies, an advocacy and media relations firm based in Denver. Since 2002, Steve has been a leader in using messaging and strategic communications to advance the movement to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in the United States. In 2005, Steve conceptualized and co-founded the “SAFER” campaign in Colorado for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The goal, eventually realized through the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign, which he managed, was to change the mindset of voters in order to make marijuana legal through a ballot initiative. In 2010, he initiated efforts to launch what became the National Cannabis Industry Association, in order to convey to Congress that the regulated cannabis market was creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and taking sales out of the criminal market.

James Marcus

James Marcus 
Expertise: Strategic Partnerships & Business Development (New York)

James is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and private equity professional. He has founded, invested in or led companies in many different industries through periods of intense growth and development. Notable current holdings include Honor Capital, a $200 million national firm in the specialty finance industry; Fenton, a pioneer in the cause-driven agency field and Collegium, a rapidly growing professional services holding company. He co-founded Watershed Company and 3BL Media and served as senior advisor to Donor Trends and True Givers. James received his MBA from Harvard and is a nonpracticing CPA and former investment banker. He is a regular speaker/panelist at industry conferences and has been published, quoted and interviewed on: CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New York Times, Fortune, Red Herring, Financial Times, Ad Week and other leading publications. James currently resides in Westchester with his wife and three daughters.

Rosie Mattio 
Expertise: Public Relations (Seattle)

Rosie is the founder and principal of Rosie Mattio Public Relations (RMPR). RMPR is a full -service, boutique, public relations firm specializing in technology, food, startup, and lifestyle clients. As one of the first publicists in the rapidly growing Cannabis industry, RMPR has also established itself as the premier agency for Cannabis businesses in Seattle and throughout the country.

Over the past 12 years, RMPR has worked with brands to maximize coverage for products and initiatives. By working with the individual clients, RMPR developed programs to gain exposure on the national, local, regional and digital levels, and has successfully placed products and programs in high profile media including: Today Show, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, High Times, Merry Jane, Cannabis Now, DOPE, Time, Bloomberg, Food + Wine, SHAPE, SELF, Women’s Health, InStyle, TIME Magazine, Forbes, and USA Today.

Devon Richardson 
Expertise: Public Relations (Los Angeles)

Devon Richardson is the founder and president of Nerve, a national marketing and public relations firm that amplifies the the most promising cannabis brands. Richardson believes that a brand’s success is reliant upon flawless execution of a vision and strategy and built the Nerve team to deliver just that. She studied cannabis while earning her undergraduate degree and developed first-hand experience of the market and building cannabis brands over the last 2 years in Denver, Colorado. Knowing the value to her clients of having a nationwide reach, Richardson opened offices in LA, SF, and DC in 2017.

Tahira Rehmatullah 
Expertise: Business Development & Strategic Partnerships (New York)

Tahira previously served as General Manager of Marley Natural and now serves as Managing Director at Hypur Ventures. She also works as a strategic advisor to entrepreneurs and early stage venture leaders, utilizing her cannabis, startup, and finance experience. Tahira is particularly interested in assisting female leaders further develop in the cannabis industry, increasing diversity throughout organizations, and supporting social justice initiatives empowering communities most affected by the war on drugs. Tahira earned a B.S. in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and holds a MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Sparky Rose

Sparky Wilson Rose 
Expertise: Branding & Messaging (Chicago)

Sparky is a 25-year veteran of the branding and design industry with deep domain expertise in the legal medical and recreational cannabis industry. Sparky is the former Executive Director of Compassionate Caregivers, an Oakland, California based medical cannabis company, which was forcibly closed by the Federal Government in 2006 although it operated legally within the State of California with permission to operate in seven different incorporated areas of the state. Sparky has consulted numerous cannabis clients operating in California, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and Illinois including Sacred Mind & Body, Cannabis Training Institute, Papa & Barkley, ebbu, and PharmaCann.

In addition, Sparky has consulted with non-cannabis clients including Chanel, DDB, BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather, DirecTV, PepsiCo and Fox Sports Networks. He has also served as the Creative Director for the Discovery Channel’s Digital Cable Networks and Advanced Television Studio.

Shane Terry 
Expertise: Operations & Strategic Counsel (Las Vegas)

Shane Terry is currently the CEO and a co-founder of TapRoot Holdings, Inc, a cannabis production and cultivation company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and President of TapRoot Consulting Group. Shane is also on the Board of Directors of GB Sciences, a publicly traded biopharma company focused on developing innovative, pharmaceutical based cannabis therapies.

Shane was also the former President of the Nevada Dispensary Association, which has proven instrumental in paving the way for Nevada’s nascent recreational market. Shane’s vast operational experience includes founding and managing multiple dispensaries and vertically integrated operations, while consulting in multiple domestic and international markets.

Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Shane served as a Flight Commander and F-16 instructor at the Air Force’s TopGun school while earning two Air Medals for combat action over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Powerplant is a sister company of Fenton, the social change agency with a national footprint and offices around country. Fenton has access to an unrivaled number of socially conscious partners the firm has worked with over the course of its 35-year history.

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We’re helping the industry leaders grow their empires.

How can we help you?

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Contact Us

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Powerplant Strategies
310.504.6266

New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Philadelphia, PA