Kannalife brings on Padilla

Kannalife's CEO wants people to know there's a difference between cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics.

DOYLESTOWN, PA: Cannabinoid therapeutics company Kannalife has brought on Padilla to lead its PR and communications programs.

Kannalife researches and works to improve CBD by using it to create chemical entities to treat painful neurodegenerative and oxidative stress-related diseases. 

The company began an RFP process in July, starting with eight potential partners. In September, it selected Padilla, and the work commenced last month, said Kannalife CEO Dean Petkanas.

Padilla is tasked with executing a strategic communications initiative to elevate awareness and appreciation of Kannalife’s scientific platform and its approach to cannabinoid therapeutics and CBD-related drug discovery, Petkanas explained.

"Padilla has a tremendous amount of life sciences experience," he said. "They are going to be centered on life sciences with a focus on efforts with media relations, thought leadership and social media strategy to position Kannalife as a leader in the cannabinoid therapeutic space."

Petkanas noted that a challenge is getting the public to stop referring to Kannalife as a "cannabis company." He said there is a major difference between cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics.

Leading the account team is Fred Lake, Padilla SVP and health lead in the firm’s New York office. Six agency staffers are working on the account.

Budget information was not disclosed.

Kannalife’s relationship with CMW Media, with which it has worked since 2015, will continue.

"CMW did an unbelievable job for us in accessing outlets like NBCUniversal, Dateline NBC and Bloomberg TV," said Petkanas. "Padilla is more in the life sciences space and we knew that was important to us in ensuring we have a good message for the life sciences community. That is why we wanted to double up our efforts."

CMW did not handle social media or life sciences work, he added. Along with investor relations, CMW will continue to produce lead targets in the mainstream media to help Kannalife get its message out. 

Asked if Padilla has a policy on cannabis-related clients, agency president Matt Kucharski said the firm "has policies and guidelines in place for evaluating client engagements to assure they align with the agency’s purpose and values."

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