We had the good fortune of connecting with Peter Marcus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peter, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Born in NYC and raised in a suburb in Westchester, NY, I grew up with a mom as a prosecutor and a dad as a New York City police detective/lieutenant. My path into journalism and then to the cannabis industry might seem strange from this childhood arrangement, but in fact it significantly impacted who I am today. Following college at Ithaca, I transplanted to Denver in 2004 along with the rest of the country, it seemed. Yes, I’m one of those transplants. In college, I studied journalism, so I sought such a career after my education. Entering the field of journalism in 2004 was brutal. It was a time of great newspaper pain, as many publishers cut newsrooms and infrastructure. But I had a skill for the trade, baked in from an upbringing with inquisitive minds. As a prosecutor, my mom was a trained interrogator. As a detective, my dad was a skilled investigator. Both would become key traits in my career as a journalist. I would go on to land jobs at several smaller newspapers in Colorado — The Longmont Times-Call, the Denver Daily News, the Colorado Statesman, and the Durango Herald. In 2006, I was offered a job starting a new publication — Colorado Politics — with a colleague, Joey Bunch of the Denver Post. Colorado Politics was a spinoff of the legislative/political coverage at the Colorado Springs Gazette, meaning I also served as the senior statehouse reporter for The Gazette, as well. Colorado Politics went on to be a smashing success. The website features about 1 million views per month, crushing our expectations at the time. None of it would have been possible had it not been for my upbringing and the impact it had on my life. Transitioning to the cannabis industry also drew upon this background, albeit through different skillsets. Having a prosecutor for a mom and a cop for a dad gave me a front row seat to the pain of a failed drug war. Neither felt the campaign against drugs in America was successful In fact, my father found it to be a waste of time in his later years. This was magnified when discussing cannabis legalization. As the communications director for Terrapin, a Boulder-based 12-year-old cannabis company with operations in three states, I draw talking points from the experiences of my mom and dad on the front lines of a failed drug war. When legalizing marijuana in new states and municipalities, I often request a meeting with law enforcement as one of my first interactions with the community. Thanks to my upbringing, I speak the same language as law enforcement, which allows me to connect and share the positive results of drug reform as it pertains to cannabis. I lost my father in 2013 after a short battle with cancer. My mother has since retired. But the lessons taken from these two important individuals in my life has shaped and impacted who I am today, both professionally and personally. It’s a joy to be able to share their impact with others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
(Attaching my bio. The story I tell earlier about my upbringing is what I would like to share here) Peter Marcus is the Communications Director for Terrapin, a national cannabis company with roots in Boulder, Colo. In addition to working on internal and external communications for Terrapin, Marcus assists with cannabis messaging and political outreach for the industry as a whole. Prior to joining Terrapin in September 2017, Marcus served as the Senior Statehouse Reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette and ColoradoPolitics.com, covering politics, the governor’s office, the Colorado Legislature, Congress, and federal, state and local governments. He joined in November 2016 from The Durango Herald. The Washington Post twice named Marcus one of the top state-based political and legislative reporters in the nation. He also has won over a dozen awards from the Colorado Press Association. In prior positions, Marcus worked for the Colorado Statesman, a Denver-based political weekly, and The Denver Daily News, a former free daily newspaper in Denver, where he covered City Hall, politics, and had an entertainment column. Before that, Marcus worked for the Longmont Times-Call. An Ithaca College graduate, Marcus studied journalism and creative writing, before moving to Colorado from New York in 2004.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Eat: La Loma — Best to show them what Denver Mexican food is all about Drink — New Image Brewing — That Colorado craft beer is a must Visit — Red Rocks — No explanation needed Hang out — RiNo — If they don’t believe us on the transplant thing, then show them RiNo — Brooklyn of Colorado
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my mom and dad, who without, I would be nothing.
Website: https://terrapin.co/, https://www.terrapincarestation.com/