The End of Prohibition

Marketing and PR for the Next Generation of Cannabis


The End of Prohibition

Marketing and PR for the Next Generation of Cannabis

We’re an experienced team of web pros, PR vets, and branding wizards.
We build awareness for clients, and measurably increase sales. We’ve been in the agency world for a long time.
We thrill to the obvious innovation everywhere, the limitless possibilities, the vibrant exuberance of this new era. 
We believe in freedom, entrepreneurialism, and fun. And we also believe in measurement, results, and
We follow inspiration wherever it leads, and we buck convention. Join us.

  • Media relations
  • Media training
  • Strategic partnerhips
  • Events  
  • Crisis communications

  • Custom websites for the cannabis industry
  • Ecommerce solutions (for branded clothing, for example)
  • Landing pages and promotional pages
  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Responsive design
  • Mobile websites 
  • Content strategy & development
  • Ghost writing
  • Social marketing
  • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more 

  • Define what your brand stands for – identity, culture, values
  • Vision, Mission, Essence, Personality, and Value Proposition
  • Logo
  • Product, retail, go-to- market strategy
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) 
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Analytics, tracking, reporting
  • Ad networks
  • Market research
  • Awareness building for product, retail, wholesale, and more 
  • Strategy
  • Media buying
  • Print ads
  • Digital banners
  • Web videos
  • Email
  • Direct mail

our team








our team









RoberT O'shaughnessy


If 16 year old Rob could see almost 40 Rob, 16 year old Rob would be shocked and impressed. Co-founder of an agency doing PR and Marketing in the cannabis industry!? How cool is that! Between 16 and almost 40, Rob got it together enough to graduate from Boston University with degrees in English and History. From there, he went to Prague, taught English to college kids and select Czech companies, then returned to the states, did some soul searching while waiting tables and tending bar, and ultimately landed in San Francisco by way of DC. He was working on Information Architecture back in ’02 and ’03, was doing paid search before Google, and working on “SEO” before the term existed. He worked for eight years running the marketing department at Graphic Language in San Francisco, then partnered with Carol Ruiz to build a Digital Services team at NewGround, a highly respected real estate PR and Marketing firm in Los Angeles. Now, with Carol, he is the President and co-founder of Higher Ground, is in charge of the marketing and digital side of things, and works with Carol on biz dev. He is a frequent speaker, published author, and would probably really enjoy having a beer with you.




Here’s a bunch of pretentious stuff Jamie was forced to tell you about herself. She’s proof that you can actually use your college degree if you have enough persistence. Having earned a degree in communications from the University of Nebraska with a triple emphasis on journalism, marketing and public relations with minors in French, Spanish and English, she has proved that stretching out the college experience can totally pay off. She has over 16 years accumulative experience in public relations, marketing and advertising in both account and creative services.  

Jamie was organically drawn to social media in its infancy.  Use a new medium to communicate. Disrupt the paradigm. Blaze new trails. Yes please. It’s this rock the boat, make history and hell yes attitude that made the cannabis industry so appealing to Jamie.




When you listen to clients and friends describe Katy, you’ll hear “attention to detail” right at the top of the list. This applies to putting together a PR plan that makes a real impact, but it’s just as apt when it comes to making craft beer, entertaining, or planning an adventure with friends. Proudly born, bred, and educated in Long Beach, Katy picked journalism and marketing for her major the first month of college. 

Katy is in charge of putting together strategies to build brand awareness and grow market share. She’s in charge of media relations, event planning, marketing, advertising and sponsorships, tradeshows, and digital media strategies. She has garnered numerous feature and profile stories in mainstream and trade publications identified as top targets for clients. If you want a story pitched that gets picked up, or just need a recommendation for a super hoppy IPA, talk to Katy. 


Carol Ruiz


Janitor, construction crew clean up, waitress, documentary filmmaker, adjunct professor… just a few of the paths Carol Ruiz walked before finally finding what she would do for the rest of her life. At these former gigs, as founder of NewGround PR & Marketing (a highly regarded agency in the real estate space), at Higher Ground, and at dinner tables the world over, Carol is a storyteller. Storytelling being the heart and soul of public relations, it’s no surprise that Carol was drawn to the world of PR.   

Carol crafts campaigns that capture the attention and imagination of the press (national and niche), communicate the right messages to the right audiences, increase name and brand awareness, build and maintain reputations, and increase customer and fan bases. And she chairs all sorts of committees, is a published author, has film credits under her belt, and is a delight to be with. She’s a world traveler (a lot of those around here). If you spend much time with her, and you should, she’s sure to tell you stories about her adventures and, even likelier, ask you to tell her yours. 




Voted “Most Likely to Drop Out of College and Become a Ski Bum” in high school, Jennifer proved her classmates wrong and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in communications.

Jennifer went on to become an award winning art director many times over and has worked at some of the most creative shops in advertising.  She created brand campaigns at places like Goodby Silverstein, Chiat Day, Cramer/Krasselt and CME.  Some of the clients she worked on over the years were: Budweiser, Corona, Spaten Beer, Robert Mondavi Wines, e-Trade, Kashi, Levi’s, Northface, Southwest Airlines, and Vail Resorts.



Shelley makes things go. She makes sure clients’ work gets done on time and with polish. When you hear the sound of a whip cracking, Shelley must be close. And when you hear the sound of champagne corks popping to celebrate a job well done, Shelley must be close. She manages the team of publicists as well as media and client relations. Shelley has 15+ years in the world of PR and marketing. Consequently, she is tremendously valuable to our team and our clients. Shelley also is an animal lover, and nothing makes her happier than seeing animals get adopted.




Robert specializes in information systems design and architecture, programming,
high-tech product marketing, teaching, and instructional design. As co-founder of Beck Interactive, Inc., a National ADDY-award-winning Silicon Valley new media agency, Robert designed and developed hundreds of websites, Content Management Systems, and mission-critical web-based applications for a variety of industry-leaders, including Electronic Arts and Comcast/Xfinity, Sega International, Applied Materials, Oracle, and Symantec Corporation.

Robert earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco. He enjoys music and films, boating in the San Francisco Bay Delta, and has a special passion for aerial videography, and recently earned his FAA Part 107 Commercial uAUS Remote Airman Certificate.



Let us take you higher


Let us take you higher

higher Ground

5318 E. Second St., #424

Long Beach, CA  90803



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