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The growth of the cannabis industry has started to gather the attention and capital of many well-known celebrities. Some of the celebrities who entered the cannabis industry were expected to enter the industry, but some of them were unlikely candidates.
Melissa Etheridge became a spokesperson for marijuana legalization after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Etheridge said marijuana saved her life. Now, Etheridge entered the cannabis industry and she helped create a marijuana-infused wine.
Etheridge said, "It helped with the psychological effects of being on chemo and trying to understand what's happening to you."
Even though the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that mixing alcohol and cannabis can increase the negative effects of each drug, Etheridge said the cannabis in her wine is not dangerous in moderation. The cannabis used in her wine is cold pressed, never heated, and it does not have a psychoactive effect.
"It doesn't make you high as you and I would know it, like, 'Whoa!'" she said. "If you're looking to get high I would say, 'No this this cannabis wine is not for you.'"
Willie Nelson recently revealed plans to launch a branded chain of marijuana dispensaries and related products, including signature strains of pot. He wants to develop and sell his own strains through his own dispensaries. Nelson plans to open his first dispensary in 2016.
The brand will be known as “Willie’s Reserve,” and his spokesman, Michael Bowman, said the operation will be reflective of Willie’s passion for cannabis. Bowman added that he plans to market Willie’s Reserve under an “anti-Walmart model.”
Willie Nelson is very active supporter of legalized cannabis, and he co-chairs the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Willie Nelson has been arrested quite a few times for possessing marijuana, the last time being in 2010. During that arrest, police in Texas seized 6 ounces of cannabis from his tour bus.
Snoop Dogg recently entered the cannabis industry through a partnership with Grenco Science Vaporizer Company. The company will develop a line of vaporizer pens and accessories for Snoop under his own brand called, Double G Series.
In February, Snoop announced that he is working on creating an investment fund that will invest in cannabis startup companies. The fund is trying to raise $25 million to fund investments focused on technology related companies in the marijuana industry.
Snoop Dogg is considered to be a weed connoisseur and he is following Peter Lynch’s advice by “investing in what you know.” Snoop’s investment brings more than just capital to the industry. Snoop is a well-known celebrity who is well connected in Hollywood. Technical420 expects to see his notoriety and connections generate investment interest among other celebrities.
Privateer Holdings, a Seattle based private equity firm focused on marijuana investments, launched Marley Natural, the first global marijuana brand based on Bob Marley. His family has endorsed the brand, and Privateer says that it will use Jamaican strains to sell Marley Natural marijuana around the world.
Marley Natural is the first brand in Privateer’s growing club of cannabis companies to focus on the sale of accessories, cannabis-infused products, and marijuana. Marley Natural plans on having its products available in the latter half of 2015.
Privateer Holdings hired Heckler & Associates, the marketing group that branded New Balance and Starbucks to direct brand development. Brendan Kennedy, Privateer Holdings’ CEO, said that the acquisition of Marley Natural builds instant brand recognition that would have otherwise taken 5 to 10 years.
Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City and owner of the Skinny Girl empire is planning on launching a Skinnygirl marijuana brand.
Frankel wants to introduce a variety of marijuana that is engineered “to not give you the munchies.” We are interested in seeing how this product sells (when/if it launches) within the marijuana community.