Celebrities pride themselves on being on top of hot trends. And right now, nothing is hotter than the cannabis industry (Unless you count fanny packs, because nothing is hotter than those—right?)
Celebrity cannabis endorsements go back decades, hitting their stride in the ’70s when cannabis became the focal point for Cheech Marin’s and Tommy Chong’s Cheech & Chong films. It was relegated to part of the counterculture of that time, but as Cheech & Chong made way for teen stoner comedies of the ’80s, the mindset started to change. No longer was it only a back room remedy for outcasts and musicians, the late ’70s and ’80s comedies brought cannabis to college in movies like Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds. The ’90s catapulted it further with films like Friday and Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse series of films that culminated in the hysterical Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
This brings us to the current century, where cannabis is not only a rich avenue to mine for laughs, but it has become a huge business. And where there is money to be made, there is an agent looking to diversify the portfolio of a celebrity—and take his 15 percent commission, of course. But unlike boring investments like mutual funds and certificate of deposits, cannabis is not only highly lucrative, it can make a celebrity seem cool, and better yet, help heal the world.
Throughout the years, there have been staunch supporters and investors in the cannabis industry. These people include the aforementioned Cheech & Chong, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and many others, but recently a new crop of celebrities has entered the fray. Here is a rundown of the most recent entrants into the cannabis business world.
The iconic member of the rock band KISS has never consumed cannabis, but if there is one thing the musician knows, it’s how to make a buck. Short of Star Wars, no brand is as well-managed, and eclectic, as KISS merchandise. This is a brand that features a KISS-branded coffin and KISS strings for your air guitar (let that sink in). Simmons was notorious for his anti-drug stance, once saying that cannabis was akin to heroin. He attributed his change of heart on the matter to simply researching cannabis, something he urges everyone to do. “The Demon” recently invested $10 million in Canadian cannabis producer Invictus MD. Simmons will be the company’s Chief Evangelist Officer and will provide counsel, serve as a spokesperson for the company and make public appearances for the brand.
The Academy Award-winning actress’ lifestyle brand Goop will be partnering with cannabis dispensary chain MedMen™ to release a line of cannabis products. The line is currently focused solely on the purported medical applications of cannabis, which includes vape pens, cannabis-infused teas, edibles, bath bombs and transdermal patches.
The funnyman, who grows cannabis on his Oregon farm, recently announced that he has rolled out his own line of cannabis products, Belushi’s Vault. One of the products is to be named after The Blues Brothers, the comedy classic starring his late brother John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Belushi also recently hosted a dinner where he invited several cannabis companies to pitch their products to a group of investors, including Kevin O’Leary of television’s Shark Tank.
American model, celebrity icon and podcast co-host of Loveline with Amber Rose, Amber Rose is an outspoken sex-positive feminist who has gained many fans over the years as the organizer of The Amber Rose SlutWalk. In the past, Rose has launched a clothing line, eyewear line and emoji app. She is also a published author and had her own talk show on VH1 entitled The Amber Rose Show. In July, Rose finally branched into the cannabis industry, launching a limited edition vaporizer by KandyPens.
The acclaimed director is no stranger to cannabis. He even appeared on the cover of CULTURE once upon a time. His new project is a scripted cannabis comedy that centers around a Los Angeles dispensary, and he needs your help. Smith is currently attempting to crowdfund the first season of Hollyweed, and you can watch the first episode now on Rivit TV. The pilot was shot in 2006 and has been on a shelf while he awaited on traditional investors. After his recent health scare and seeing first-hand how cannabis aided in his recovery, he has decided to skip the “money men” of Hollywood and instead go directly to his audience. Fans can check out the pilot and if you would like to help fund additional episodes, the crowdfunding goes through Aug. 25.
The legendary boxer and ear connoisseur purchased a 40-acre lot of land 110 miles away from Los Angeles, California, with the intention of transforming it into Tyson Ranch. The compound would produce top-shelf cannabis products, but also take advantage of new technologies to research the medicinal value of cannabis. In June, the former boxing champion launched Tyson Holistic Holdings for medicinal cannabis and Tyson Ranch, his recreational cannabis line.