The journey to full nationwide legalization of cannabis has had its share of ups and downs, and there’s still a lot of work to be done in order to achieve change. In episode 4 of Focus on the Future, Green Flower Social Media Manager Allie Everdeen covers cannabis reform with Evan Nison, Founder and Owner of NisonCo PR & Marketing, board member of Students For Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), and the youngest board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). The pair examines the history of cannabis advocacy in the United States, how organizing strategies have evolved, and what the industry can do right now to bolster support for the plant across the country.
Evan Nison is the youngest member of the NORML Board of Directors and sits on the Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He is the founder of the PR and Marketing firm NisonCo, which connects leaders in the legal cannabis, medical marijuana, and hemp industries with influential journalists across the U.S. and world.
In 2010, while still a student at Ithaca College, Evan took a semester off and moved to California to run the college outreach for the cannabis legalization ballot initiative Prop 19, which spanned over 40 actively managed schools state-wide. He was President of Ithaca Students for Sensible Drug Policy for four years, which under his leadership passed one of the first college policies in the country that equalized penalties for cannabis and alcohol on campus. He also received one of the pens used to sign the New York 911 Good Samaritan Law and New York medical marijuana law for his involvement in the passage of both bills.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Evan pressed Hillary Clinton for a firm answer on her support for legalization during a live town hall event on ABC’s Good Morning America.
More recently, as part of his mission to build socially driven businesses, he co-founded Whoopi & Maya, a women’s-focused cannabis brand with actress Whoopi Goldberg and fellow board member Rick Cusick. He then went on to co-found Emerald Farm Tours, a Northern California-based cannabis tour company to give the public a transparent hands-on view of the cannabis industry from seed to sale, and Bloody Good Vape & Smoke, a smoke shop in New Jersey he founded with a victim of cannabis prohibition who was held in jail for a year awaiting trial.
Evan has been mentioned in news sources such as the New York Times, CNN, Politico, USA Today, NBC New York, Bloomberg TV, Forbes, and has been profiled in The Cannabist, Civilized, Ithaca Times, Home News Tribune, The Marijuana Times, and the Sun Times. He also received the 2011 NORML Student Activism Award and High Times Freedom Fighter Award for his advocacy.
Make sure to follow the Green Flower Instagram account and tune in Wednesdays at 12 p.m. PST for more episodes of Focus on the Future!