Cannabis and music go together naturally, as any enthusiast will tell you.
It’s not surprising that several well-known musicians are starting their own legal cannabis ventures and working to align themselves with the industry; it’s a smart branding decision, both for the celebrities and the companies they work with. However, which celebrities are in it for the business and which ones are just trying to tie their names to a trendy product? Lifelong advocates Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and Bob Marley make the list, but so does latecomer/cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge and enterprising young rapper Wiz Khalifa.
Country star and unabashed cannabis advocate Willie Nelson just received private equity funding from Tuatara Capital for his “Willie’s Reserve” brand of cannabis, to be retailed only in states where adult recreational use is legal.
I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? – Willie Nelson
When you think celebrity cannabis advocate, Willie Nelson’s name is likely to be one of the first that you think of. He’s been jailed for possession multiple times, and even made a song with Snoop about his “medicine” back in 2008. While it is not surprising that Willie is getting involved on the business side of the industry, it is a little surprising to see that it has taken this long. With solid funding and an outstanding following inside (and outside) of the cannabis space, rest assured “Willie’s Reserve” will likely be a top notch product.
Snoop Dogg announced the launch of his newest venture this week: Merry Jane, a lifestyle media platform he hopes will act as an encyclopedia for the cannabis world. The site will host several video series as well as general information about various strains of cannabis and methods of consumption. He’s also been working on starting a cannabis investing firm, Casa Verde Capital, for quite some time, and is reportedly working on his first big fundraise.
There are so many people in the closet, and we are giving them an opportunity to come out of the closet and just admit they like to smoke. I’m a smoker, my name is Snoop Dogg, and I’m a stoner. – Snoop Dogg
Cannabis lifestyle media platform and Snoop?? It’s like Snoop is finally ready to make his mistress his wife, as the famous rapper has never hidden his affection for the plant, but really has yet to make a splash on the business side of the industry. Obviously his name brings a worldwide clout that you can’t put a price on, however investors might find it curious that snoop is trying to raise funds for his new venture, rather than funding it directly through his pocket.
Melissa Etheridge, a rock singer and songwriter who many don’t know is also a breast cancer survivor and cannabis activist, recently debuted her very own cannabis-infused wine, named “Know Label” and sourced from Santa Cruz, California. Bringing the finer things in life together, Melissa hopes her product will bring a great cannabis experience to a wider audience and move the industry forward.
Cannabis and wine have both been around for thousands of years…but the notion of a commercial cannabis wine industry is brand-new. Even the idea of ganjapreneurs is still relatively new. So we’re on the front line of this thing. – Melissa Etheridge
Slam Dunk. California is known for having great cannabis and great wine, so the combination of the two seems like an idea that should have taken place long ago. In fact it has, cannabis infused wine dates back to the 28th century B.C. in China and archeologists have found records showing that the founder of Chinese surgery, Hua T’o, used wine fortified with cannabis resin to reduce pain during surgery. Given the historical success of cannabis infused wine, the branding of advocate and cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge, and the great taste (we recently got to sample the wine at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition), this project seems to be a no brainer and Melissa’s future success will come at no surprise to us.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa has helped develop his own namesake “Khalifa Kush” hybrid strain as part of his branding, available exclusively at Cookie Co. dispensary locations in San Jose and San Francisco. The performer has stated that the dispensary, who first released the famed Girl Scout Cookies strain, actually sponsors all of his cannabis consumption – could celebrity sponsorship be the next big wave in getting your genetics recognized?
Is Wiz just putting his name on something for the heck of it? Or is there a businessman behind the glazed-over eyes and toothy grin? As such a successful and unique rap artist, he may have a creative advantage in the cannabis industry, especially when it comes to the millennial generation that is following his music.
Bob Marley’s empire lives on through his family – the Marley Natural brand is handled by Privateer Holdings, one of the industry’s top private equity firms, and deals in cannabis products, body care, and lifestyle accessories. For a legendary musician who once said, “Herb is the healing of the nation,” a successful legacy in the cannabis industry is only natural.
When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself. – Bob Marley
It goes without saying that Marley Natural would make this list. Both Bob Marley’s music and his brand recognition have only strengthened through time, so with top notch backing and close family ties to the Marley family, Marley Natural’s brand has the most international appeal on this list, as Bob was able to perform and sell out concerts all over the world.
It’s exciting when individuals bring their fame and expertise in other fields and use it to promote cannabis among their audience of fans, as well as the general public. Every conversation is a chance to change people’s minds about prohibition, and every new venture in this industry is laying a foundation for cannabis businesses to come.