Full-service communications firm Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency has launched “Destigmatized,” an Instagram TV docuseries documenting America’s ever-transforming relationship with the cannabis plant. The docuseries will feature more than 120 episodes, with each short documentary capturing an individual’s story about how cannabis has improved their life.
“This series is something that I have long dreamed of creating,” said Ricardo Baca, Founder & CEO of Grasslands, a strategic communications and public relations agency that works with clients in cannabis, hemp and other highly regulated industries. “As the landscape continues to change, the hope is that by opening up a dialogue, we will in turn take cannabis from legalization into normalization and eventually into commercialization.”
“Marijuana legalization represents the largest drug policy shift of our lifetimes, and we got this far in this process by telling these compelling stories—and so we cannot stop telling them.”
The series highlights cannabis consumers from all walks of life as they are interviewed by Mr. Baca about cannabis and its impact on their lives. The production format for “Destigmatized” was straightforward: Mr. Baca asked each interviewee three questions: How has cannabis improved your life? How has your relationship with cannabis changed since the first time you got high? And, Complete this sentence: “I consume cannabis to help me…”
Launched on Veteran’s Day with an interview from CannAmerica CEO and Marine veteran Dan Anglin, other “Destigmatized” subjects include Nikki Kujawski, the Senior Brand Manager at Stillwater Brands; patient and activist Jeff Waters; and Chief Investment Officer of Clear Cannabis, Inc. Rick Batenburg III.
In the dozen episodes that are already live at @grasslandsagency Instagram page, a wealth of stories have already been told—including the young woman who uses cannabis suppositories to treat her dysmenorrhea (a.k.a. severe period cramps), the Marine vet who treats his many combat injuries with edibles and the woman who consumes cannabis to treat the chronic arthritis in her hips—“but I’ve managed to ski and be a yoga instructor and do all these things for the last five years by managing my pain naturally.”
Grasslands’ Mr. Baca pitched the “Destigmatized” concept to full-spectrum content creation agency 77 Media Group over coffee during the National Cannabis Policy Summit in Washington D.C. in April 2019, and the Ohio-based production team made the trip to Colorado a few months later for a two-day shoot.
“We specialize in conveying cannabis brand narratives with video content, so when Grasslands invited us to join them as a production partner on this project, the answer was an easy yes,” said 77 Media Group’s CEO and Creative Director Anthony Travagliante. “Any opportunity to open up the conversation surrounding cannabis is something we want to be a part of, and we look forward to rolling out these videos and seeing the response.”
Grasslands will release new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday over the next 10 months, culminating in the world premiere of three larger documentary films, to be debuted via partner media sites and film festivals. All of the docuseries’ episodes will also be available for streaming on Grasslands’ Facebook and LinkedIn channels.