Who Is TCC Media Founder Imani Dawson?

Imani Dawson is the founder and President of TCC Media, an award-winning communications and digital media firm. The branding strategies expert has marked an incredible career evolution, spanning journalism for major outlets; production for MTV, BET and VH1; political advocacy; and of course, forging pathways in cannabis. With her sisters Dasheeda and Ice, Imani leads efforts both in New York and nationwide to educate the public on the plant. In addition to her work with TCC, she’s a co-founder of the Cannabis Education Advocacy Symposium and Expo (CEASE), a nonprofit raising consumer awareness, and a Board Member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the country's oldest and most established legalization advocacy organization.

Imani Dawson On Media Services In Cannabis, Parenting, And Being A Woman In The Industry

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?

IMANI DAWSON: I was inspired to join the cannabis industry after witnessing the benefits of marijuana medicine. My mother consumed as a cancer patient to withstand the impact of chemotherapy treatments, and it was one of the few things that offered her relief. Her experience spurred my interest in cannabis after a lifetime of avoiding it because of the awful collateral consequences.

I decided to enter the industry to advance social and economic justice by using my background in communications and advocacy. Understanding the disproportionate impact of America's War on Drugs, especially on marginalized communities like East New York, where I grew up, I saw the cannabis industry as a platform to advocate for change, educate about the benefits of cannabis, and support equitable legalization and regulation.

What’s the biggest challenge in providing media services to the cannabis space?

As a boutique communications agency, navigating the complex and evolving legal landscape is significant for TCC Media. The cannabis industry is still emerging, and regulations vary widely. Communicating effectively while adhering to these regulations requires constant vigilance and adaptability. We focus on education and outreach, empowering people who are unfamiliar with the health and wellness benefits of cannabis as plant-based medicine to become patients and advocates for affordable access. We also champion prospective entrepreneurs and licensees who want an opportunity to build businesses and land good-paying jobs in the emerging industry. 

What’s your biggest accomplishment in cannabis thus far?

TCC Media is a family company, and I'm proud of our work and the national impact we’ve had on legalization, from hosting Oklahoma’s first cannabis expo to helping to make New York’s legalization the most equitable in the country through advocacy and creating and executing the industry’s first diverse cannabis internship program on behalf of USCC and being part of the pioneering group of cannabis entrepreneurs in the first ever industry billboards in Times Square. Our goal remains to make sure everyone benefits from legalization, particularly those who’ve been most harmed by the failed racist war on drugs.

What is your hope for the future of New York's cannabis industry?

I hope to see a thriving, equitable industry that provides pathways for Black and brown people from the communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition to thrive as business owners, employees, and patients. I envision a market providing economic opportunities for the historically marginalized and ensuring safe, regulated, affordable access to quality products.

What message do you have for other cannamoms / canna parents?

I wish other moms knew more about the medical benefits of cannabis and its potential for economic empowerment. It's important to understand the plant beyond the stigmas and appreciate its role in wellness and social justice.

What do you think people need to know about being a parent in the cannabis industry?

As a parent in this industry, balancing advocacy with education and messaging that reframes our understanding of cannabis is key. If you can speak to your children and families about cannabis as a medicine, it transforms their relationships with the plant as well.

How do you like to consume cannabis?

As a medical cannabis patient, I microdose with edibles.

What are your favorite products?

In New York’s market, Columbia Care’s High THC Dissolvable Powder lets me dose myself quickly and accurately. Outside of our local industry, Wyld Gummies are best in class.

What's the worst thing about being a woman in cannabis?

Despite progress, there's still gender disparity in leadership roles and investment opportunities. Women in cannabis, like in many industries, face hurdles to gaining equal recognition and overcoming biases. Like our foremothers before us, we’ve got to use our agency to change the world, sometimes at the kitchen table.

What’s the best thing about being a woman in cannabis?

We're bold boundary-breakers. We foster community, advocate for equity, and challenge stereotypes and the status quo. I love being on the frontlines of our emerging industry.

For more about Imani Dawson and TCC Media, visit tccmedia.co or follow @imanidawson and @tribecalledcurl on Instagram.

*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide or click here to order!

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Imani Dawson

Community Education Advocacy Symposium & Expo (CEASE)


Dasheeda Dawson

Ice Dawson

The Cannabist (Columbia Care)

Wyld Canna


Featured image: Imani Dawson, founder of TCC Media (C) TCC Media