In the race to capitalize on America’s expanding legal cannabis industry, launch parties to premiere celebrity pot products have become de rigueur. Last November, Snoop Dogg debuted his Leafs by Snoop line at a Denver soiree, and on Feb. 6, which would have been Bob Marley’s 71st birthday, his son Rohan was in Los Angeles, where a high-end party launched Marley Natural strains and concentrates, now available at several SoCal med shops.
It’s just the tip of the celeb-pot iceberg. Tommy Chong’s Choice brand of buds began circulating in Washington State adult-use stores in January; a day after the Marley Natural bash, Chong was at the High Times SoCal Medical Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino promoting the new brand with an arcade-style crane machine filled with fat green nugs.
Just a week earlier, it was Wiz Khalifa’s turn to let the world know that he, too, is making a Green Rush move with his Khalifa Kush strain and other products to be grown and sold in RiverRock’s two Denver locations. In a press release, Khalifa stated: “These products have taken years to perfect. I’m really excited to share them with the public and to work with RiverRock to raise awareness and end marijuana prohibition nationwide.”
Khalifa has also extended his existing partnership with RAW to include new versions of his branded Khalifa cones and papers, and other merchandise. “He just really, really liked RAW ,” the company’s Founding Director, Joshua Kesselman, tells Freedom Leaf. “The relationship grew until one day it was time to turn it into an actual joint venture.”
Partnerships abound in the brave new world of legal cannabis. The Marley family has partnered with Privateer Holdings; and Willie Nelson has received investment support from Tuatara Capital for his Willie’s Reserve product line, which launched over the sumer on Colorado and Washington State
Singer Melissa Etheridge is also getting into the cannabiz with her private-label, weed-infused red wine, created for Greenway Cannabis Relief in Santa Cruz, Calif. by Lisa Molyneux (see Freedom Leaf Issue 5); the bottles are currently only available to members of the medical marijuana collective. At the Women Grow Summit in Denver in February, Etheridge told the crowd: “It’s time for us to run that business with the knowledge of health and wellness, and also the other energy of capitalism. We’ll show that it can work.”
Just this month, Etheridge announced that she would be starting Etheridge Farms, her own brand cannabis products, including topicals, edibles and flowers. The same goes for Whoopi Goldberg, who’s line, Whoopi and Maya caters especially to women. And Montel Williams’ LenitivLabs will focus on extracts and new delivery systems.
Several celebs are looking to get in on the retail cannabis boom. As we reported in Issue 11 (“Pot Shop Owner B-Real Talks Medical Marijuana”), rapper B-Real won a license in 2015 to open a shop in Santa Ana, Calif. He’ll be competing with Roseanne Barr, who’s invested in another Santa Ana store. However, in Hawaii, noted actor and hempster Woody Harrelson was rejected when he applied for a license to operate two dispensaries and two cultivation facilities on Oahu.