Honeysuckle is an award-winning American media company based in New York. It focuses on popular culture and publishes internationally distributed print editions and digital content through its flagship magazine and a cannabis-exclusive sister publication, Honey Pot. Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 2013 by filmmaker, journalist and publisher Ronit Pinto, Honeysuckle first came to public awareness for its coverage of fringe, underground reporting from a personal testimony perspective. Today it is recognized for hard-hitting socially-conscious content, provocative photography, and visually stimulating artwork. The company was honored with a New York State Assembly Citation award by Inez E. Dickens of the 70th District, and a Certificate of Recognition from New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, for “a progressive stance on social and economic issues plaguing our society” in 2019.
Notable features have included cover stories on Spike Lee, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alan Cumming and Kirsten Dunst, and veteran cannabis advocates and media personalities Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, as well as exclusive interviews with figures such as Congressman John Lewis, actress Holly Hunter, and the last interview of adult film performer Candida Royalle.
In recent years Honeysuckle has been responsible for a number of milestones bridging the gap between mainstream culture and the cannabis and hemp communities. Honeysuckle was one of the first cultural publications allowed to cover Marijuana Business Conference, the largest international cannabis industry trade show, in 2017. Most notably, the company spearheaded a campaign that placed cannabis ads on Times Square billboards for the first time in history, which occurred on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2018. The campaign included fifteen partner brands such as Elixinol and Nutrafuels as core participants. Dasheeda Dawson, founder and CEO of cannabis business and marketing strategies firm The WeedHead™, became the first African-American owner of a cannabis company to be featured on a Times Square billboard due to her partnership in the campaign. Another participating brand, Flower Power Coffee Company, became the first CBD coffee company to present at Super Bowl LIII in February 2019 based on the success of the New Year's Eve campaign. (Ironically, this was not long after Acreage Holdings, the largest multi-state cannabis operator in the United States, announced its $2 million commercial had failed to clear broadcast standards with CBS for airing during the game.)
Ronit Pinto founded Honeysuckle in 2013 as a digital publication centered on provocative arts, culture, and film. The initial written and video features were largely helmed by Pinto and her partner, filmmaker Sam C. Long, with contributions by several Detroit-based writers and artists. An early video about spirituality used emerald gels from the major motion picture Oz: The Great and Powerful, on which Pinto and Long had crewed, to create a dress by award-winning designer Matthew F. Richmond of the Paper Dress Code. It also included styling by Michigan-based artist Sandy Bambi and photography by Christian O'Grady.
After relocation of its headquarters to New York, Honeysuckle debuted limited-edition print issues in 2015, its first cover spotlighting a Detroit punk artist. Limited print runs continued through 2016, before the company underwent a rebrand in 2017 that resulted in wider United States distribution. By 2018 Honeysuckle had secured national distribution, including the bookstore chains Barnes and Noble and Books A Million, and digitally through iTunes, Google Play, and Apple News. In 2019, Honeysuckle created Honey Pot Magazine, a sister print-and-digital publication focusing exclusively on cannabis and hemp issues. Honey Pot shares the same distribution network as the company’s flagship brand, which as of 2020 also features availability at select locations in the United Kingdom, France, and Israel. An educational platform geared toward a younger audience of children and teens, Honeysuckle Girl, launched in testing form in 2018 and is currently in development.
Social justice issues such as prison reform, racial disparity, and street culture are major components of Honeysuckle’s coverage. The company regularly publishes articles and accounts from community leaders and people who have direct experience with prison. Its Social Justice Board is comprised of writers and editors, all formerly incarcerated, who regularly contribute to the print and digital content: James Litkett, New York State chaplain and host of the television series Now We Rise ~ A Quest for Self-Determination (Manhattan Neighborhood Network); Shawanna Vaughn, nationally-recognized humanitarian activist and founder of the nonprofit Silent Cry Inc.; Arthur Rambert, imprisoned for 25 years and now a mentor with the nonprofit Lead By Example Reverse the Trend.
Honeysuckle frequently collaborates with organizations across the United States that enhance the public good and are on the front lines of emerging industries. The company has a running content partnership with New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT), and produced the first-ever digital magazines for NoCo Hemp Expo, the world’s largest industrial hemp conference, and its sister conference Southern Hemp Expo, the premier hemp trade show in the Southeastern United States. Additionally, Honeysuckle is an ongoing media partner of the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition (CWCBE), one of the leading cannabis industry shows. In 2019, both NoCo Hemp Expo and CWCBE hosted their first cannabis media panels, which featured Honeysuckle founder Ronit Pinto as a speaker.
Notable Staff and Contributors
- Ronit Pinto, founder and publisher (2013-present)
- Sam C. Long, founding member and creative director (2013-present), filmmaker and screenwriter
- Jaime Lubin, managing editor (2017-2019), executive editor (2019-present), writer, actress and producer
- Naomi Rosenblatt, deputy editor and art director (2017-2018), consulting editor (2018-present), founder of Heliotrope Books
- Royal Young, editor in chief (2015-2016), journalist and author
- Soleil Nathwani, consulting editor (2017-present), contributing editor and culture columnist at Rolling Stone India
- Patricia Bosworth, consulting editor (2017-2020), journalist and author
- Dasun Imanuel (DX21 Dasun), guest editor (2017-present)
- Jay Neugeboren, house poet (2017-present)
- Lori B. Lipten, spirit columnist (2015-present)
- Theresa Reed, Tarot columnist (2017-present)
- Eben Britton, former National Football League athlete, board member of Athletes for CARE, co-host of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast
- Alex Harsley, street culture photographer, founder of the historic 4th Street Photo Gallery and Minority Photographers Inc.
- David N. Feldman, internationally-recognized attorney and award-winning author
- King Noire and Jet-Setting Jasmine, noted community organizers and sex educators
- Susan Shapiro, award-winning professor and bestselling author
- Eckfeldt, Bruce. Interview with Ronit Pinto, Thinking Outside the Bud, October 2018: https://www.thinkingoutsidethebud.com/podcast/015-ronit-pinto
- Lubin, Jaime. "Spike Lee: Doing the Right Thing with BlacKKKlansman," first published in Honeysuckle's BLACK Spring 2019, accessed online November 7, 2019: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/film/spike-lee-doing-the-right-thing-with-blackkklansman?rq=spike%20lee
- "King of the World," first published in Honeysuckle's ONE Fall 2018: https://www.zinio.com/honeysuckle-magazine/console-34590-146107-i425933
- Long, Sam C. "The Highs Keep Cumming," first published in Honeysuckle's CANNABIS Spring 2018, accessed online July 17, 2018: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/film/the-highs-keep-cumming?rq=alan%20cumming
- Olds, Dorri. "Actress Kirsten Dunst Says 'No' to Fixing Imperfections," first published in Honeysuckle's HERS Summer 2017, accessed online July 26, 2017: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/film/kirsten-dunst-cover-article-honeysuckle-magazines?rq=kirsten%20dunst
- Whyte, Patricia. "Prophets of the Plant: Pioneering the Cannabis Industry," first published in Honey Pot PRIMO Fall 2019.
- Imanuel, Dasun. "John Lewis: No Ways Tired," first published in Honeysuckle's BLACK Spring 2019, accessed online November 6, 2019: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/blog/john-lewis-no-ways-tired?rq=john%20lewis
- Olds, Dorri. "Hats Off to Holly Hunter," first published in Honeysuckle's HERS Summer 2017, accessed July 31, 2017: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/film/hats-off-holly-hunter-continues-blow-us-away?rq=holly%20hunter
- "Candida: Coming Full Circle," first published in Honeysuckle's LE SEXX, Fall 2015: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/gender-sexuality/le-sexx?rq=candida%20royalle
- "MJBizCon: A Look Inside the Canna Biz," first published in Honeysuckle's CANNABIS Spring 2018: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/honey-pot/highs-keep-cumming-honeysuckle-magazines-cannabis-edition?rq=alan%20cumming
- Stahl, Michael. "Cannabis ads in Times Square signal banner year for cannabis, hemp industry," AM New York, January 28, 2019: https://www.amny.com/news/cannabis-brand-marketing-1-25900136/
- "Historic Times Square Billboard Puts Cannabis & Honeysuckle Mag on High for NYE," MJ News Network, December 31, 2018: https://mjnewsnetwork.com/business/historic-times-square-billboard-puts-cannabis-honeysuckle-mag-on-high-for-nye/
- Rose, Jonathan. "Cannabis ads will appear in Times Square for the first time ever on NYE," Denver Business Journal, December 31, 2018: https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2018/12/31/cannabis-ads-times-square-nye.html
- Ogles, Jacob. "Selling cannabis or hemp on Times Square? Florida company makes marketing history," Florida Politics, January 27, 2019: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/286565-selling-cannabis-on-times-square-florida-company-makes-marketing-history
- Grove, Rashad. "First Black Owned Cannabis Company to be Featured in Times Square on NYE," The Source, December 28, 2018: https://thesource.com/2018/12/31/first-black-owned-cannabis-company-to-be-featured-in-times-square-on-nye/
- Kaiserman, Beth. "Super Bowl LIII Will Feature CBD Coffee Ads in Stadium," Forbes, January 20, 2019: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bethkaiserman/2019/01/20/super-bowl-cbd-coffee-2019/
- Brady, Erik. "Super Bowl: CBS rejects ad on benefits of medical marijuana," USA Today, January 22, 2019: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/Ad-Meter/buzz-meter/2019/01/22/super-bowl-cbs-rejects-ad-benefits-medical-marijuana/2639175002/
- Interview with Ronit Pinto, New Hemp Times, November 1, 2019: https://shows.acast.com/new-hemp-times/episodes/33-honeypot-heads-interview-with-honeysuckle-magazine-founde
- "8 Women Leading the Charge in Cannabis Innovation," The Bluntness, March 11, 2019: https://cannabismaven.io/thebluntness/innovation/8-women-leading-the-charge-in-cannabis-innovation--DYuhsG3oE-xwnrhPRazJA
- "Meet Ronit Pinto, the woman behind the media powerhouse Honeysuckle," Aspioneer, February 2020: https://aspioneer.com/meet-ronit-pinto-the-woman-behind-the-media-powerhouse-honeysuckle/
- "Now We Rise with Honeysuckle Magazine," accessed online June 8, 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrXKap8Qua4
- Vaughn, Shawanna and Chelsea Young, "We Can End Post Traumatic Prison Disorder," first published in Honey Pot PRIMO, Fall 2019: https://www.scribd.com/article/449302456/We-Can-End-Post-Traumatic-Prison-Disorder
- Jones, Lauren. "Arthur Rambert: From Prisoner to Paying It Forward," first published in Honeysuckle BLACK, Spring 2019, accessed online November 11, 2019: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/racial-politics/arthur-rambert-from-prisoner-to-paying-it-forward
- Lawler, Terry. "Terry's Picks: Female Forward, Writers Lab, Honeysuckle Magazine," NYWIFT.org, August 8, 2017: https://www.nywift.org/2017/08/08/terrys-picks-female-forward-writers-lab-honeysuckle-magazine/
- Let's Talk Hemp @ NoCo6, Spring 2019: https://issuu.com/honeysucklemagazine/docs/let_s_talk_hemp___noco6
- Let's Talk Hemp @ SHE 2019, Fall 2019: https://issuu.com/honeysucklemagazine/docs/let_stalkhemp_she2019
- Samuel Clemens Long on Internet Movie Database: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3794453/
- Jaime Lubin author archive, HuffPost: https://www.huffpost.com/author/jl2905-142?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFOR7xtmEms_FSSCcbhBtMaS_Gb1Kyzc9ysqyn61Y8dWKt_JT80ZaJCuJ6ba_zevr3Drk2XCU55cL7BNltuKArSWBPNuMM-5Fu2yhzr7ScKTFpAT9MW4aEzEhXKaNVeqMAp89oSS8-Alua8osVhqF8J5eIWkTpD0IkdRXCsY3yxg
- Royal Young author archive, New York Post: https://nypost.com/author/royal-young/
- Dasun Imanuel author archive, Essence: https://www.essence.com/authors/dasun-imanuel/
- Theresa Reed Honeysuckle archive: https://www.honeysucklemag.com/taro?tag=theresa+reed
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