After hearing that Willie Nelson is getting into the legal marijuana business, a lot of people had the same reaction: What took so long?
Willie Nelson’s name has become almost as synonymous with marijuana as with his classic country songs. The music legend has been arrested a total of four times for marijuana possession – most recently after hot boxing joints on his tour bus in 2010.
With people like rappers and reality stars coming out their own line of products for the booming legal marijuana industry, it seems only fitting that Nelson should cash in as well.
A Look at Willie’s Weed Plans
The 81-year-old singer and cannabis enthusiast is reportedly set to launch his own line of weed called Willie’s Reserve. He developed the product with his family and even hired Michael Bowman, a long-time marijuana lobbyist, to serve as the brand’s spokesperson.
Although few details have been released as of now, Bowman said there will be “movement” within the next 12 months and he expects Nelson’s line of weed to be available in states where pot is legal by next spring.
Nelson is also reportedly planning to open brick-and-mortar marijuana stores in these states, which will also sell pot products from other companies. Bowman said the model will be equivalent to what Whole Foods does.
“Whole Foods has their 365 brand, or you can buy Stony Brook, or you can buy Horizon,” he explained. “It’ll all fall under that umbrella of “here’s our core beliefs, and here’s our mission statement,” and they will be a part of that.”
The Booming Pot Industry
Celebrities, both expected and unexpected, have tried to make marijuana part of their brand in recent years…with varying degrees of success.
The most recent “celebrity” to get in bed with legal pot is Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel. The reality star hopes to address the lack of “diet weed” on the market. In fact, an insider told Us magazine that Frankel’s sales gimmick is marijuana that’s “specially engineered not to give you the munchies,” although it’s unclear how exactly that would happen.
Additional examples of celeb-backed weed products include:
- Rocker Melissa Etheridge, who began medical marijuana after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, launched a line of “cannabis-infused” fine wines at the end of last year.
- The family of reggae legend and pro-pot icon Bob Marley launched a legal line of retail weed, Marley Natural, last year.
- Rapper Snoop Dogg sells his own brand of rolling papers and endorses Kurupt’s Moon Rocks, a bud dipped in concentrated weed oil.
- Hip-hop artist Redman endorses Caviar Gold, an L.A.-based cannabis company
- Rapper Wiz Khalifa sells his own brand of marijuana called Khalifa Kush.
Willie’s Reputation is (Finally) a Plus
Much like some artists in the hip-hop community, Nelson’s reputation as a weed aficionado could position him as an authority figure in the legal marijuana market. With so few celebrities in a position to make marijuana part of their brand, it’s possible that at 81 years old, the most financially successful period in his career could still be yet to come.
Additional Reading: THC Edibles: Don’t Let Appearances Fool You