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Ricardo Baca

CEO & FounderGrasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency

Denver, CO

Member Since October 2020




Named one of Fortune magazine’s 7 Most Powerful People in America’s Marijuana Industry, Ricardo Baca is a 20-year veteran journalist, Clio Awards juror, keynote speaker, TEDx veteran and cannabis futurist. He served as The Denver Post’s first-ever marijuana editor and founded news vertical The Cannabist, where he extensively covered the advent of adult-use cannabis and related issues across the country and around the world, as seen in the feature documentary Rolling Papers (Netflix). In 2016, Ricardo launched Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency to work directly with business leaders in highly regulated industries, including cannabis, real estate and traditional healthcare. Named Marketer of the Year by AdCann in 2019, Ricardo has received numerous accolades for his trailblazing work throughout the media paradigm, and continues to columnize and host podcasts for a number of top publications. In August 2020, Grasslands was awarded the Denver Business Journal 2020 Small Business Award. Ricardo is considered to be the world’s first (and “most prestigious” according to Vice) marijuana editor; one of Brookings Institution’s 12 Key People to Watch in Marijuana Policy; one of Time magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds; one of Sensi magazine’s 24 Cannabis Pioneers Who Matter. Ricardo is a leading cannabis / media / drug policy expert profiled by The New York Times, Poynter, The View, The Colbert Report, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me—and a trusted source by This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Buzzfeed, NPR’s All Things Considered, The Guardian, Esquire, Fast Company, Al Jazeera, BBC, Mashable, International Business Times and CBC. Ricardo was proud to guest on Pod Save America spin-off podcast Lovett or Leave It, and he’s also made numerous appearances on Adam Carolla’s podcast and Larry King’s talk show. He’s also an accidental champion of Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies podcast.

Published content

The Modern Cannabis Consumer: What Marketers Should Know About the Older Demographic


The uptick in cannabis use among seniors is more than just a passing trend—it's a shift that’s only likely to grow.

Cannabis Beverages: What Marketers Should Know About Current Trends


The sector of cannabis-infused beverages is growing, but is beholden to the pace of change in human behavior. 

Controversial Business? 10 Strategies for Dealing with Naysayers Online

expert panel

Your response will say a lot about your company. When your business operates in a niche that can sometimes experience controversy or deals with controversial subjects, such as cannabis or art, you’re bound to come across a few naysayers along the way. While you can’t prevent this situation from happening, you can control the way you respond. In a public space like social media, the way you conduct yourself in reaction to any “hate comments” or “trolls” can have a major impact on the way your business is perceived by current and potential customers. So before you hit “reply,” consider the following 10 strategies recommended by a panel of Rolling Stone Culture Council experts for responding to any controversy that may arise.

11 Tips for Keeping the Momentum Going After Making a Business Connection

expert panel

Networking can be tough, but building relationships doesn't have to be. Networking is a major way to forge new connections and find potential business opportunities when you're an entrepreneur. But once you’ve made an initial connection, keeping the momentum going with that contact afterward — whether with other professionals or brands — can be tricky as you both return to your hectic daily lives. According to the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council, however, maintaining good business relationships doesn’t have to be challenging or take up a lot of time — it’s all about doing it the right way. Below, they list a few of their top tips for keeping the networking momentum going and why they work so well.

How Covid-19 Impacted Cannabis Culture and Consumption Spaces


What do lingering pandemic fears mean for this new market segment?

How Mainstream Adoption Could Lead to a Cannabis Brand Evolution


No cannabis brand has yet achieved the milestone of national name recognition.

Company details

Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency

Company bio

Welcome to Grasslands, a journalism-minded agency specializing in Public Relations, Content, Social Media and Thought Leadership for businesses in highly regulated industries. But what does a qualifier like journalism-minded mean for a full-service agency? It means showing your work: Choosing direct communication and accountable activation instead of over-promising and under-delivering. It means more listening and note-taking, creating content and social media calendars, conducting in-depth client interviews, managing relationships with media and investors, understanding a brand’s North Star, ideating compatible mission / vision / values, respecting and honoring deadlines, weaving together compelling narratives and managing unforeseen crises when they arise. At Grasslands, we employ the ethical standards we learned in newsrooms as we elevate our clients through informed Public Relations, thoughtful Content Marketing, contextual Social Media, savvy Thought Leadership work, impactful Newsletter Campaigns and outstanding Event Execution. Gripping narratives. Professional communication. Expert advice. Experiential activation. And thoughtful strategy from a seasoned team that’s well-versed and legit experienced in all sides of the public relations / communications / media paradigm.



Area of focus

Public Relations
Social Media

Company size

11 - 50