40 Under 40
For the past five years, the Marijuana Venture staff has compiled an annual list of some of the brightest young leaders and influencers in the cannabis industry. As in past years, we have narrowed the list from hundreds of worthy candidates to present 40 individuals from the vast and ever-changing business in the United States and Canada.
It is our honor to share their stories.
Company: Mattio Communications
Title: Founder and CEO
Although she’d been working in public relations for nearly a decade, when Rosie Mattio moved to Seattle in 2013, just after Washington voters legalized adult-use marijuana, a light bulb went off.
“I saw what was happening in Seattle,” she says. “No one was really doing consumer lifestyle PR around cannabis.”
When Mattio was approached to do a crowdfunding campaign for a cannabis cookbook — a good match with her background in specialty food PR — and she found her mainstream media contacts excited to write about cannabis, so she jumped into the industry head-first. Today, Mattio Communications is based in New York City and is one of the largest cannabis marketing firms in the industry, boasting 40 clients, 39 of which are cannabis brands or ancillary products, including Headset, Canndescent, Papa & Barkley, Harborside and PAX, among others. As a full-service, cannabis-focused firm, Mattio also does not just provide PR, but social media, investor relations, content, and SEO.
“Now they write about it quite often,” she says.
Mattio says her firm treats cannabis with the respect of a major industry and she tries to position the products like she would if they were launching a new popcorn or any other consumer packaged good.
Mattio Communications now employs 17 people, but Mattio says the company’s client base continues to grow and plans are to open offices in Toronto and Los Angeles by 2021. She’s proud of the work she and her firm have done in the cannabis space and says she “can’t imagine having more fun.”
“If you told me 10 years ago that my career would be CEO of a large cannabis company, I would have said ‘What are you talking about?’” she says. “But the more you learn about the plant and the more stories you hear about how positively it impacts people, you just become an advocate.”