Honeysuckle's Ronit Pinto on Beauty, Freedom, Art and Cannabis

Her two most recent print magazines, and other creative projects she's admired lately

Ronit Pinto is the publisher and founder of Honeysuckle Media, an award-winning, female-led print and digital platform exploring gender and sexuality, racial politics, the environment and pop culture.

Ronit began Honeysuckle in Detroit, and is now based in New York. Honeysuckle has always been a platform encouraging hope and individual expression in the face of challenging and extraordinary circumstances. Ronit has a background in journalism and film. She has published in several outlets including Allure Magazine, and the Jerusalem Post. Ronit has worked on several big budget films across departments including Transformers and Scream 4. Today, she writes horror and directs films with her fiancé Sam.

We spoke with Ronit for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.

Ronit, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Texas and I currently reside in New York. I was born in Michigan. Aside from Detroit I have also lived in Tel Aviv.

Your current role in the cannabis industry.

I am the publisher and founder of Honeysuckle Media. We are a female founded and led, award-winning cannabis and culture publication. We prioritize creativity and social justice. Our core values are beauty, freedom and art. We offer multi-platform packages to our clients in the form of print, digital, email, OOH among others. We were also the first company to place cannabis and hemp brands in Times Square in 2018!

A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

I love cannabis and the way it makes me feel when I am outside. It's actually still spiritual for me, so to be honest, I like to sit outside and look at the stars. Trees are a plus. I've had so many experiences with cannabis. Anyone who has consumed cannabis has had their minds opened by it. But for me, it's all about nature and tuning into the universe.

A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.

Mmm. I recently tried Champelli at the Astor Club and I really liked that. I like outdoor, organic, sun-grown, high terps and low THC.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

The fact that it's still federally illegal and the stigma exists. Some brands don't want to be associated or anywhere near cannabis. And we have faced many of those challenges in several of our campaigns.

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

Many things. I love the confluence of cannabis and artistic communities. Because Honeysuckle is a high-quality publication produced with artistic sensibilities, we attract artists, filmmakers and musicians, and the combination thereof is all very exciting to me. Especially in print.

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

I support all social justice organizations, and not only cannabis. Honeysuckle has advocated on behalf of many inmates and we helped secure one woman's compassionate release. I support all of the organizations featured in our current issue titled FREEDOM with Damian Marley on the cover. Damian and Steve Marley are on the board of the Last Prisoner Project. Aside from LPP, we feature the Hood Incubator, The Marshall Project, The Cannabis Impact Fund, and many people who were directly affected by the War on Drugs, including Michael Thompson, who served 25 out of a 60-year sentence, and Corvain Cooper, who received commutation from Donald Trump out of a sentence of life without parole. They all have my support.

A project you worked on recently that you're proud of.

I am proud of our last two print editions. One, a gorgeous large format issue featuring Lil Wayne on the cover; and our current one with Damian Marley. I am proud of them for their aesthetic beauty and also for the journalism that highlights important issues and voices. We have wonderful writers.

I am always proud of our billboard campaigns. We recently did one with Chenae Bullock of the Shinnecock Nation, Mary Jane Oatman of THC Magazine that was sponsored by Conor Green on National Indigenous Day. Our other campaigns have featured BIPOC and socially motivated themes including women, psychedelics and plant medicine. We also recently did the first psychedelics board with DoubleBlind, Susan Rockefeller's Musings and Rainbo Mushrooms.

Someone else's project you admired recently.

I really love the recent booth activations by Rebelle Dispensary, out of Great Barrington. They had a gorgeous one at MJBiz and at Luxury Meets Cannabia. I love their aesthetic and design. And we are creating something cool with them right now! I am also a fan of queer multimedia artist Emily Eizen. And we featured many of her photos in our current issue.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.

I am a HUGE FAN of Zoe Wilder. She is a well-respected and well-known PR professional and she also just launched a new record label called Liquid Culture!  Also love Laganja Estranja. She is so talented and FUN.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

Film. Which I still do. 

Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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