As the cannabis industry expands amid booming public support of national legalization, more and more celebrities are moving into the marketplace and looking for a cut of the action. From rappers to actors and from athletes to whatever it is that Casey Neistat does, it seems like everyone with a brand is getting in on the buzz.
At the front of the pack are celebrities who have a strong pre-existing connection to cannabis. One such consumer-turned-investor is Snoop Dogg, whose 2000 Dr. Dre collab “The Next Episode” famously encouraged listeners to “smoke weed everyday.” The iconic West Coast rapper has partnered with TSUMo Snacks to release the exceptionally on-brand Snazzle O’s, a new range of crispy onion-flavored snacks infused with cannabis. The Washington Post recently did the hard work of testing out the product range, which one reviewer hailed as “like Funyuns, but more onion.”
“Man, Snazzle Os bring me back to when I was a kid hanging out with my friends,” the rapper told the paper in an interview conducted over e-mail. “We had the best times back then, running the streets and having fun. We’d go by the corner store and buy soda, candy, chips. TSUMo brings me back to those times.”
TSUMo Snacks co-founder and CEO Caroline Yeh noted that the market for weed-infused chocolate and gummy products has become oversaturated, leaving a wide lane open for cannabis edibles of the salty-savory variety. Her product’s selling point is that it stands out in a crowd of unpleasant-tasting alternatives.
Another selling point? The Doggfather’s hands-on involvement in the product and its flavor profile. Not the type to simply slap his name on a product, Snoop sampled test seasonings until he settled on two he liked: a traditional Funyun-style flavor and a spicier alternative with a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos flavor profile.
Moreover, Snoop Dogg’s involvement with TSUMo Snacks goes beyond licensing. The company began in September of last year as a collaboration between Redbud Brands and Casa Verde, the cannabis-focused investment firm he co-founded. It’s just the latest in a series of ventures that have made the entertainer one of the biggest names in the business.
Another natural fit for the cannabis-branding business is Snoop’s Mac & Devin Go to High School co-star Wiz Khalifa. The Pittsburgh native and vocal weed enthusiast recently expanded his Khalifa Kush product line into Florida’s medical dispensary market. Originally launched early this year in California in association with cannabis company Trulieve, Khalifa Kush has evolved into something closer to a lifestyle brand, selling cannabis-themed clothing alongside its actual marijuana products like flower, concentrates, edibles, and pre-rolls.
Originally set to drop on October 1, Hurricane Ian pushed back Khalifa Kush’s Sunshine State rollout by a week. Fans now have the opportunity to purchase the new Khalifa Kush medicinal products at any Trulieve location in Florida starting on October 8. They can also meet Wiz at the Coral Springs location starting at 1 p.m., the Hollywood location starting at 2:30 p.m., and the North Miami Beach location starting at 4 p.m. In addition to meet-and-greets, these events will feature special giveaways, live DJ sets, and an unspecified “unique shopping experience.” And as if that wasn’t all, Wiz Khalifa and Trulieve will also match donations to the Florida Disaster Fund to help those Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian, which was recently declared the state’s deadliest storm since 1935.
That’s savory edibles and medicinal marijuana out of the way, so let’s move on to some interesting celebrity news for those who prefer liquid libations. Benzinga reports that celebrity-backed cannabis beverage company Cann has acquired Sweet Reason, a drink maker previously known for its CBD-infused offerings. In addition to its actual products, Cann’s claim to fame is its roster of name-brand investors, who include Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebel Wilson, Adam Devine, Ruby Rose, Darren Criss, Tove Lo, Baron Davis, Casey Neistat and Bre-Z.
From the beginning, Cann has focused on weed-infused beverages that it’s marketed as a “better-for-you” alternative to alcohol. As such, its own products are “micro-dosed” with 2 mg of THC and 4 mg of CBD to provide a high more in line with a pint of beer than a special brownie. The company acquired Sweet Reason as a way to package an even lighter “micro-micro-dosed” alternative to its flagship line for consumers looking for an even gentler experience. So if a can of Cann is like a can of IPA, a can of Sweet Reason will be like a can of wine cooler – albeit better-tasting.
Of course, not every celebrity involved in the cannabis industry is attracted to the product’s purely recreational qualities. Some are more interested in its medicinal properties. In the latter camp are former football stars Ricky Williams and Chris Ball, whose respective companies Highsman and Ball Family Farms recently teamed up to offer a collaborative strain they’re calling “Ricky Baker” – an appellation that continues Ball’s trend of naming all his products after characters from the film Boyz N the Hood.
Williams is perhaps the closest analogue the sports world has to Snoop Dogg or Wiz Khalifa, someone whose enjoyment and support of cannabis is fundamental to their brand and widespread appeal. Unlike those rap stars, though, Williams suffered career blowback because of his publicly acknowledged use of the soft drug, which he has long touted as a safer, more holistic alternative to prescription medication. That stance has been vindicated in recent years as more research confirms the medical efficacy of marijuana use.
Given the collaborators’ background, it’s perhaps unsurprising that their new strain specifically addresses pain and inflammation, or that it comes with a social-justice selling point. “Chris is pioneer in the cannabis space, overcoming obstacles and transitioning to a truly grassroots legal operation,” Williams said. “We are proud to collaborate on a product that gives back to those persecuted for cannabis related offenses, and leads the next generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”
So there you have it: the latest news from the world of celebrity-backed cannabis products. It’s a booming industry that’s changing by the day, and whenever it does, you’ll find out first from Cannabutter Digest. Explore the site to learn more about the latest news, the tastiest recipes, and the most in-depth product reviews!