“Celebrity marijuana” is the new branding fad glamming up the weed industry. Kinda.

“Celebrity marijuana” is the new branding fad glamming up the weed industry. Kinda.

VicesDecember 13, 2018 By Will Brendza

If you told someone ten years ago that celebrities would soon be offering their own strains of legal marijuana, just as they do with clothing and fragrances, you’d have been laughed at.

Perhaps it’s a testament to how quickly the weed wildfire has spread through our culture and our country. Or perhaps it’s an indication of the impending corporatization and commercialization of cannabis as a product. Either way, it’s shaking things up in the cannabis industry as celebrity’s rush to break in on the ground floor.

It should come as no surprise that pot-personalities like Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong and Snoop Dogg have all thrown their hats into the ring. These are household names in cannabis culture, people who know their weed and know it well, who are synonymous with joints, blunts, bongs and flower of all strains and sizes.

Nelson established “Willie’s Reserve,” in 2017 and Chong, started “Chong’s Choice” in 2016, both of which offer unique lines of cannabis products. And the Dogg? He launched his own line of Colorado-based cannabis products before both of them — Leafs by Snoop, est. 2015.

“Since I’ve been at the forefront of this movement for over 20 years now, I’m a master of marijuana,” Snoop told the Cannabist. “So naturally, my people can trust that I picked out the finest, freshest products in the game. Let’s medicate, elevate and put it in the air.”

Cheers Snoop. We’ll toke to that.

However, these cannabis icons aren’t the only celebrities who are putting their names on pot products. In fact, you would probably be surprised by the number and variety of high profile VIP’s who are trying to get into the business of getting people baked. 

There’s Patrick Stewart, now on the board of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, Whoopie Goldberg, founder and partner of Whoopie & Maya, Gwyneth Paltrow, who endorsed a huge line of different cannabis products, Jimmie Buffet, of Coral Reefer, Joe Montana, who’s investment company is making moves on cannabis companies, and Mike Tyson, who is taking a swing at the industry from Tyson Ranch, a cannabis farm and retreat out in the Mojave Desert.

Even Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the Godfather films, has created his own line of specific marijuana strains correlated to different Californian microclimates, just like fine wine (and priced like it too).

Actors, musicians, professional athletes, all breeds and manner of rich and powerful folk are flocking to jump on the cannabis train. They want in.

Why? Is it because they’ve all been a bunch of secret stoners this whole time, who want their own personalized brand of marijuana products? Is it because they all believe in the power of cannabis to help people, to ease pain, relax anxiety and fight insomnia?

Probably, for some. But for the majority, it’s just a matter of money. Cannabis product lines represent a huge investment opportunity and for people like this, who can tap into their fan bases to generate customer bases, it’s a simple cash grab — even if it’s still difficult to navigate the federal legal issues. Simply slap your name on a strain, up-price it, market the shit out of it and the good innocent people, they will come. And they will pay for it.

It’s the American way.