At the Green Market Report Midwest Women’s Cannabis Business Summit in Chicago on Nov. 2, we recognized some of the stellar industry players with the GMR Midwest Women in Cannabis Awards.
The award for public relations went to Mika Stambaugh, co-founder of Chicago-based Acannability.
A former TV journalist at CBS in Chicago, who then served as a spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Stambaugh co-founded Acannability in 2021 as an educational tool for consumers and businesses alike, to help spread the word about all the versatility of marijauna. To her, it was a natural transition from her work in Chicago’s City Hall, where she spent much of her time working with new and emerging industries.
“When cannabis became legal in Illinois, to me, it was the same thing: It was a new emerging business. And I knew how to educate the different buckets. And so Acannability was born,” Stambaugh said.
“In January of 2022, we launched our first educational campaign, which was called ‘Why Legal,’” Stambaugh recalled. “And then this week, we just launched our second campaign, called ‘TLC for your THC.’”
Stambaugh said she’s excited to debut Acannability’s trademarked “periodic table for the cannabis plant” later this month in Las Vegas. The graphic features 50 different cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of marijuana.
“Whether you’re six years old or you’re 60, you’ve seen the periodic table on the wall at your school, and you learned elements that way,” Stambaugh said. “So we figured that would be a visual correlation to getting back to the science, and removing all of the stigma, and just talking about, scientifically, this is what this plant can do.”
In her short time in the industry, Stambaugh said she’s been amazed at the basic ignorance about cannabis that she still encounters, particularly from new consumers.
“I’ve told more people that CBD can’t get you high and blown more minds than I could even count, which is unbelievable. I guess I assumed that everyone knew that. But everyone doesn’t know the basics of this plant,” Stambaugh said. “It’ll be really exciting to get more people on board with alternative medicinal options and recreational options as they learn, because I’ve learned so much. In two years, I feel like I have my master’s degree.”
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