The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a substantial change, one that should ripple across the cannabis industry in a variety of major ways. Economies of scale in cultivation, new agricultural technology, commoditization, waves of new infused products, vaping products, all of these things and more look to help bring sweeping change to the way everyone grows and consumes marijuana. That said, there’s one change coming with legalization that could eclipse them all. That’s right, celebrity endorsements.
With four states and Washington, D.C. now allowing for legal commercial sale of cannabis, there are a number of companies springing up to fill the void. As such, those celebrities looking to invest capital, and aware that their name carries weight inside and out of the cannabis community, are jumping on board to put their money and their names to work.
Our friends at MJINews compiled this list of six celebrities who have gotten into the act by investing and/or endorsing legal cannabis companies.
Okay, this one’s a gimme, sure, but he’s also gotten the ball rolling with not one, not two, but four different companies in which he’s invested that provide a range of products and services.
“Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital venture firm, in addition to other investment firms, recently invested in Eaze, a medical marijuana delivery service in California, during the company’s Series A round, which closed out at $10 Million.
“Eaze, which launched last July and is already available in 34 cities in California, takes a page from the popular ride-share app Uber by connecting consumers to participating dispensaries via a smartphone app and a fleet of vetted drivers. The app allows customers to scan a menu of products, select their choice as well as a nearby delivery driver, and promises delivery in 10 to 15 minutes. Users can rate drivers and products by posting reviews in the app.”
“Serving primarily as a lifestyle website, Merry Jane will aim to provide video and editorial content, serving as an information hub for a wide variety of users, from the seasoned veteran to the fresh-faced newbie.”
“FunkSac, the leading cannabis packaging enterprise specializing in odor-barrier and child-resistant technology, has acquired financial backing by Casa Verde Capital, a venture capital firm whose focus is high-growth emerging markets. In addition, FunkSac has created a partnership with Snoop Dogg as a brand ambassador for programs promoting safety and security across FunkSac products.”
“On Nov. 9, 2015, Snoop Dogg announced Leafs By Snoop, the rapper’s custom cannabis brand, at a private launch party in the suburbs of Denver.
“Leafs By Snoop will produce flowers, concentrates and edibles, with its products currently available through LivWell dispensaries in Colorado. LivWell currently operates four medical marijuana and two recreational dispensaries, plus four dispensaries serving both medical and recreational consumers. After 30 days, the products will be available in additional medical and recreational dispensaries in Colorado.”
Once again, no surprises here. Legendary country songwriter and singer Willie Nelson has long been as well known for his love of cannabis as he has been for his flowing red locks or sultry singing voice. Now, the Red Headed Stranger has launched his own cannabis brand, Willie’s Reserve.
“Over the course of his 81 years of life Willie Nelson has been known for many things—as the singer-songwriter behind classic country hits like ‘Crazy’ and ‘On the Road Again,’ as an actor in both films and television, as the author of multiple best-selling books, a high-profile violator of United States Tax Code, and an environmental activist, but it is perhaps only now, with the announcement that 2016 will see the launch of “Willie’s Reserve” branded marijuana strains, dispensaries and associated paraphernalia, that he has embarked upon the endeavor by which the future will most surely know his name.”
The master of reggae is, tragically, no longer with us. However, his estate has still opted to use his name to launch a strain of marijuana that will bear his name.
“Well, it was bound to happen eventually. If you have ever smoked cannabis, then you have probably heard of and listened to the legendary reggae singer Bob Marley.
“In smoke circles around the country, cannabis enthusiasts have always talked about how they would love to smoke a pack of 'Marleys' once marijuana is legal and now that dream will be fulfilled.
“That’s right, for 2015 the Bob Marley estate has announced their plans to launch a Bob Marley-inspired international cannabis brand, appropriately name Marley Natural."
Famed folk-rocker Melissa Etheridge has never been one to shy away from sharing her thoughts on anything, and that has included how marijuana use helped her manage treatment for breast cancer. Now, she’s launching a unique entry into the market with a cannabis infused wine.
“Singer-Songwriter Melissa Etheridge has long been a proponent of medical marijuana. She has been very open about using the drug while she was battling breast cancer, stating that it has helped her deal with the side effects of chemotherapy. Etheridge is now cancer-free, but her experience with medical cannabis has inspired her to help develop and market a cannabis-infused wine.
“The Grammy and Academy Award winner says that she believes her new business venture is ‘a huge opportunity’ to break into a relatively new market now that attitudes toward cannabis have been changing throughout the United States. Now that marijuana is becoming socially acceptable and has been legalized for recreational use in four states, there is a market of clever marijuana-based products.”
B-Real, best known for his time in the group Cypress Hill, is engaged in the cannabis industry at various stages, including cultivating his own Tangie strain that won third place for Best Sativa Flower at California’s Cannabis Cup in February.
“In a strategic marketing move, B-real partnered with MassRoots, a social network for cannabis consumers, in the fall of 2014 for his ‘Smoker’s Club Tour.’ B-real also curates Breal.TV, a digital platform on news, music, cannabis and culture. It includes cannabis-related programming such as ‘The Dr. Greenthumb Show’ and ‘Class in Session.’
“While these are all notable achievements, B-real recently elevated his engagement in the marijuana industry. On Feb. 5, 2015, B-real, along with 19 other applicants, won a Santa Ana lottery that advances him and the other winners to the regulatory safety permit phase of the medical marijuana dispensary application process.”
Canadian R&B star The Weeknd has launched his own brand of high-end vaporizers.
“Wildly popular Canadian rhythm and blues star The Weeknd, birth name Abel Tesfaye, has joined many of his fellow musicians by leaping into the world of sponsored marijuana merchandise, teaming with high-end vaporizer brand PAX to release a product called The Madness Fall Tour Limited Edition PAX, a PAX 2-style invention to be sold along with other, more traditional merchandise like t-shirts and posters at stops on The Weeknd’s big fall tour, which PAX is also officially co-sponsoring.
“The device comes in a sleek black case, has a cool yellow light on it, as well as The Weeknd’s signature XO logo, and when you power it on, it plays The Weeknd’s hit song ‘The Hills.’ It retails for $325.”
By MJINews, a leading source of Investor News for the legal Marijuana Industry.
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