It should not be surprising that early celebrity adaptors have jumped onto the legal marijuana bandwagon. Some have struck out on their own while many have inked licensing deals with established corporate brands like Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC) based in Smiths Falls, Ontario. It operates 10 licensed production sites and has over 4.3 million square feet of production capacity.
Here’s a list of celebrity cannabis players.
Canadian rapper Drake is the latest to sign with Canopy to produce a subsidiary brand. It will be called More Life Growth Company and will operate as a separate entity from CGC.
Canopy has partnered with other celebrities, but the deal with Drake is far broader than its relationship with others. Drake will own 60% of the More Life with Canopy keeping the other 40%. And the new company will be headquarter in Drake’s hometown of Toronto.
Monogram is the Jay-Z brand under another cannabis company, Caliva. In a complex deal with Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp, he will serve as Chief Visionary Officer of TPCO Holding Corp.
The company is an integrated cannabis company that will include a social initiative with the goal to change America’s criminal justice system. Further, it will offer training and job placement for those convicted of cannabis-related offences.
Snoop Dogg was not only a early adaptor to weed, he was also early to realize the commercial opportunity when he co-founded Leafs by Snoop in 2015. His company specializes in cannabis flower and edibles. It’s in partnership with Tweed, a subsidiary of Canopy Growth.
Whoopi Goldberg founded Whoopi and Maya in 2016. Co-founder Maya is the creator and owner of Om Edibles, which specializes in cannabis-infused topical products for menstrual pain relief.
Willie Nelson may be the most legendary marijuana smoker ever. He’s as famous as a promoter of marijuana legalization and the use of biofuels as he is as a musician. In 2015, he founded Willie’s Reserve, one of the first celebrity-sponsored cannabis production companies.
Tommy Chong is also a long-time cannabis-rights activist who made his comedy career on weed smoking. In 2016 he founded Chong’s Choice, a Denver, CO-based, cannabis products company.
Montel Williams, Martha Stewart, Trailer Park Boys and Chelsea Handler have cannabis-related projects.
Of her relationship to marijuana, Ms. Handler has said, “Cannabis has become an integral part of my life. I’ve been open about my usage. When I ‘rediscovered’ it, it helped me get through some tough times, and it helped me get off sleeping pills. I now see it as a part of my overall wellness regime.”
For the companies associating with a celebrity is all about marketing, it’s about the appeal of their social media connections. Entrepreneurs with the dream of becoming the Coca-Cola of cannabis are betting celebrities might be a shortcut to mainstream success.
Likewise, the celebs are trying to get in early before the upside opportunities fade.Image: TechCrunch