Celebs Go To Pot By Creating Their Own Cannabis Brands

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These days, it seems like every celebrity has a side hustle — a product or line of products meant to enhance their brand beyond their normal sources of income.

In the past, celebrities dabbled with food or clothing, but, in recent years, one hot sign of fame is having a personal brand of cannabis.

Mike Tyson, Martha Stewart and Bella Thorne are just a few of the celebrities promoting their own cannabis brands, and there are plenty of others who are attempting to create cannabis-connected businesses.

Heck, the celebs don’t even have to be living. The estates of Jerry Garcia and George Harrison have both licensed cannabis products and paraphernalia.

There’s even a delivery service in California called Camp Nova that specializes in the pot brands of celebrities and influencers.

Considering that 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational weed, while medical marijuana is legal in 37 states and D.C., it’s a time of budding growth for celebrities wishing to get into the sativa space.

“If anything, it helps a celeb’s image to take part in an emerging industry with deep cultural ties,” Dan Wilson, editor of Visit Hollyweed, a news site about California cannabis, told HuffPost.

Wilson said that musicians are the celebrity demographic most likely to benefit from a cannabis connection “because weed and music have had a natural affinity for decades.”

“Specifically, no genre of music has more directly discussed weed than hip-hop, and so we see a lot of people from the rap game do collabs with weed brands in California. The fans love it, it’s a perfect match.”

“Celebrities who want to get into cannabis need to have a story about their relationship with weed.”

– Dan Wilson, editor of Visit Hollyweed

Sports/entertainment agent Klint Briney also thinks retired pro athletes can benefit from a pot profile.

“I mean, who doesn’t know pain like, say, a Peyton Manning or Serena Williams? Pain is the single largest health condition and affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined,” Briney told HuffPost.

Sydney Banta, of the cannabis marketing firm HighHopes.co, thinks the growth of celebrity brands will likely come from people in the culinary space.

“Edibles and beverages are categories that have only scratched the surface, and these categories have a large untapped market,” Banta told HuffPost. “Not everybody smokes, but everybody eats and drinks. In other words, if Rachel Ray released a line of cannabis treats, I’d bet you’d discover a totally new pocket of cannabis-curious consumers.”

Comedian Cheech Marin is one celebrity taking advantage of the food-cannabis connection with Muncheechos, a restaurant concept devoted to stoner-centered cuisine, according to Food52.com.

But tailoring specific cannabis strains to match a celebrity’s public image is one thing that hasn’t been done very much yet.

A writer for Pacific San Diego noted in 2020 that weed from Tyson Ranch, Mike Tyson’s previous cannabis brand, produced a high that made people chatty but that didn’t “pack a punch.”

In addition, the high that’s connected with comedian Tommy Chong’s brand was more cerebral and not the hoped-for “giggle weed,” the reporter said.

Banta said that celebrity-inspired strains can be successful if done strategically.

“This approach ensures the celebrity’s connection and partnership with the brand feels genuine to consumers rather than an attempt at a cash grab,” she said. “Additionally, it can be a great way to further attract, capture and convert that celebrity’s fans and followers into customers of the cannabis brand.”

“If Rachel Ray released a line of cannabis treats, I’d bet you’d discover a totally new pocket of cannabis-curious consumers.”

– Sydney Banta, HighHopes.co

However, Wilson said that it’s “not practical to be so narrow as to only offer one ‘experience’ for your weed brand.” He argued that it’s more common for a celeb to do a curated collection of strains and to tell customers, “I tried a bunch of strains and these were my favorite, these are the ones I like and I think you’ll like too.”

Still, he said that a celeb could take the approach of identifying themselves with a certain strain if they’re careful and intentional about it.

“For example, by selecting strains based on an experience that matches their persona and then always offering that same strain,” he said. “They have to have a consistent grow operation to do that.”

Carlos Dew of the LA-based cannabis company superbad said when his company partnered with rapper Lil’ Kim on her new cannabis brand, Aphrodisiak, they worked on multiple strains — but the first one, Hardcore, was intentionally made to reflect her sexy persona.

Pleasing the hip-hop legend had its challenges. Dew said they came up with five strains for Lil Kim to try before she chose Hardcore.

“No, she didn’t try them all at the same time,” Dew said. “You can’t.”

Obviously, the cannabis connection can add to a celebrity’s bank account, but not every celebrity should jump into the cannabis biz expecting to make big bucks, according to Wilson.

“Celebrities who want to get into cannabis need to have a story about their relationship with weed,” Wilson said. “Ideally, they have talked openly about weed in the work/art they’re known for or have advocated for legalization as a public figure. Without this connection, it seems merely opportunistic.”

That matches up with the views of former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne, who has the Forbidden Flowers brand. She takes her role as a cannabis celeb seriously.

“Cannabis is very important to me and is a part of my lifestyle,” she told HuffPost in 2021. “It just took a long time to get it fully up and running because there are a lot of moving parts. I also had to do a lot of research on where I wanted to grow the cannabis, what I wanted the strands to taste like, what I wanted the brand to represent, and the aesthetic.”

Cheech Marin Muncheechos

https://muncheechos.com/

Comedian Cheech Marin has long been associated with marijuana humor. Now he’s tackling marijuana hunger with Muncheechos, a restaurant chain meant to appeal to stoners.

Bella Thorne

ForbiddenFlowers.com

Former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne has her own brand of weed, Forbidden Flowers, and said she “had to do a lot of research on where I wanted to grow the cannabis, what I wanted the strands to taste like, what I wanted the brand to represent, and the aesthetic.”

Mike Tyson Cannabis

Tyson20.com/

The former heavyweight champ has become a force in the cannabis world with his Tyson 2.0 brand, which includes gummies shaped like an ear that has been chewed on, a reference to that time in 1997 when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during the WBA Heavyweight Championship.

Martha Stewart CBD

ShopCanopy.com

Martha Stewart apparently thinks CBD is a good thing, since she has her own line of products.

Ricky Williams

Highsman.co/

Football player Ricky Williams may have retired from the NFL, but he references his former glory days with the name of his cannabis brand, “Highsman,” a pun on the Heisman trophy he won in 1998.

Willie Nelson Cannabis and Hemp Products

WilliesReserve.com/

If there were a Mount Rushmore of celebrity pot aficionados, Willie Nelson (with wife Annie) would surely be up there. With two cannabis brands, Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Reserve, the Red Headed Stranger is proving his favorite color may actually be green.

Travis Barker CBD

BarkerWellness.com

The Blink-182 drummer and Kardashian by marriage also has a line of CBD that focuses on pain and recovery.

System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian

https://22red.com/

System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian founded his own cannabis brand, 22Red, a name inspired by his interest in numerology, specifically the number 22.

Wiz Khalifa

KhalifaKush.com/

Rapper Wiz Khalifa’s career as a cannabis entrepreneur is blooming thanks to his personal brand, Khalifa Kush.

Soulja Boy

Grizzlypeak.com

Soulja Boy has his line of cannabis products, Soulja Exotics, and claims on its website to be the first rapper to grow marijuana in coco fiber.

Jerry Garcia Estate

GarciaHandpicked.com/

What a long, strange trip it has been for cannabis smokers who, until recently, risked arrest for indulging. Times have changed so much that the family of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia (including his daughter Trixie) has its own brand of pot: Garcia Handpicked.

B Real Cypress Hill

InsaneCannabis.com/

Cypress Hill member B Real has gone “Insane In The Membrane” as a cannabis entrepreneur. Besides having his own line of products, Insane Cannabis, he also his own dispensaries, Dr. Greenthumb.

George Harrison All Things Must Grass Collection

DadGrass.com

Back in the ’60s, George Harrison helped popularize pot as a member of the Beatles. Now his estate is promoting a line of CBD products called “All Things Must Grass,” a pun based on the title of his landmark solo album.

Adam Devine Cannabis Beverage

CannSocialTonics.com

Fab 5 Freddy

Joe SchildhornJoe Schildhorn/BFA.com for B-Noble.com/

Pioneering rapper and visual artist Fab 5 Freddy, right, is now stretching his talents into cannabis entrepeneur with his work with the B-Noble brand.

Brooke Shields CBD

Prospectfarms.com

Actress Brooke Shields has another job on the side: serving as chief brand officer and board director for Prospect Farms, a company that makes CBD tinctures.

Floyd Landis CBD Balms

Floydsofleadville.com/

Former bike racing pro Floyd Landis was disqualified for using performance-enhancing drugs. Now he has his own line of CBD that is focused on healing chronic pain.

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