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Sara Payan

FounderPlanted Agency

Piedmont, CA

Member Since June 2021


Public Speaking
Customer Acquisition


Educator - Writer - Policy Advocate - Industry Consultant Creating educational and training opportunities for brands, healthcare institutions, policymakers and the public through consulting, curriculum and media. Sara Payan is a nationally recognized and award-winning educator, public speaker, policy advocate, writer and the host of the “Planted with Sara Payan” podcast. An industry veteran with over 18,000 hours of experience guiding and educating the public, Payan has her finger on the pulse of the industry regarding consumer trends and product development and trained cannabis professionals on consumer relationship building and the art of the sale. She has consulted with numerous brands on product development, public outreach, marketing and engagement for businesses. She is an appointee and Subcommittee Chair of the California Cannabis Advisory Committee and the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee. She was Co-Chair of the San Francisco State Cannabis Legalization Taskforce. She was named among the 100+ Most Important Women in Cannabis for 2019 and 2020. For over a decade, Sara worked for the Apothecarium as their Director of Education and Public Education Officer. She has created educational and training opportunities for healthcare and higher learning institutions, policymakers and the public through lectures, tours, curriculum and media. As a Stage III cancer survivor and former civil rights professional, she believes that educating consumers and policymakers makes for safe access, sound policy and equitable industry opportunities. Sara has taught and lectured at large healthcare organizations, higher learning institutions and public foundations such as Kaiser, UCSF and UC Berkeley Haas Business School. She has led nationwide large-scale industry training and lectures, including continuing education credit classes at accredited schools for healthcare practitioners through her private practice. Sara created some first-to-market cannabis curricula — the first cannabis education workshop series for City College of San Francisco.

Published content

12 Business Leaders Share Their Best Tips for ‘Going Live’

expert panel

Before you hit that "go live" button, make sure you have a plan in place for a successful social media live stream. Whether it's on Instagram, Facebook or other social media platforms, live video content provides fun and welcome variation to your social media strategy. It allows for more connection between your brand and your customers, and may even introduce a new audience to your company. But there is an art to doing live videos well, and it's important to understand the basics before you start streaming. To help, a panel of Rolling Stone Culture Council members share their best practices for a successful social media live stream — from ensuring added value to advertising in advance — and how to adapt these practices to your own strategies.

How to Get a Job Like Mine in the Cannabis Industry


To find your heart's work, you must listen within, ignore the critics and be brave enough to leap.

Managing Expectations in Cannabis


Looking to find sustainable success in cannabis?

Overwhelmed at Work? How These Entrepreneurs Recommend Coping in a Healthy Way

expert panel

The key is to address the overwhelm early and to find manageable solutions. No entrepreneur is immune to burnout, and when the stressors of work and leading a business get to be too much, it’s important to find healthy ways of coping. Without these methods, it’s all too easy for your business to become overwhelming, which can lead to a loss of passion for your work or even poor mental health. As busy business leaders themselves, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council have dealt with their fair share of overwhelming situations. Below, they offer up some of the methods they use to cope and explain why they recommend these methods for any burned out business leader.

Why Cannabis Education Could Create Better Policy


Educated policymakers can create policy that enables safe access, social justice and viable opportunities for industry success.

Eight Lessons These Entrepreneurs Learned From Their Toughest Business Situations

expert panel

You can’t grow your business without facing a few obstacles along the way. Leading a business often comes with its own unique challenges, some more difficult to navigate than others. What separates great leaders from good ones is the ability to face those challenges, overcome them and come out stronger and wiser on the other side. No matter the challenge, there’s always a lesson to be learned that can either overwhelm you or help your business grow. But learning those lessons can often be a challenge in itself. Below, a panel of Rolling Stone Culture Council leaders detail the lessons they’ve learned from some of the most difficult business situations they’ve faced and how they became all the wiser for it.

Company details

Planted Agency

Company bio

"Planted" is an ongoing conversation encompassing the vast world of cannabis, focusing on education and policy. Sara Payan, educator, policy advocate and author, engages policymakers, media professionals, industry leaders and more about their relationship with cannabis in the era of legalization. Featured guests include former RNC Chair Michael Steele, renowned musician David Crosby, Emmy award-winning actor Peter Coyote and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. You can find us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts (Pandora, Spotify, Apple, Audible, Stitcher and TuneIn) and at our home on Radio Misfits Network. Cannabis encompasses culture, politics, business and health. In this new era of legalization, conversation is normalization- ending stigma, influencing policy and helping to create a more equitable industry. "Planted with Sara Payan" informs, educates and engages audiences through its platform, highlighting a diverse and impactful roster of guests. We love deep dives with the innovators, policy giants and influential luminaries that shape our culture. Drawing our listeners into the conversations, turning them on to new concepts and products and piquing their curiosity is what fuels the creative process of Planted. As policy wonks, encouraging the cultivation of voter engagement is an important goal for us, as is approaching cannabis through a bipartisan lens. In this time of normalization, it's important to have frank conversations about the impact of cannabis and the latest information about policy, business, pop culture and science. Educating the public and highlighting the real stories behind the movement and industry are essential to provoke critical thought and impactful change.



Company size

2 - 10

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Rolling Stone Culture Council is a vetted professional network of influential business leaders in the music, entertainment, media, food & beverage, fashion, sports, gaming and cannabis industries.