By Duke London
For as long as celebrities have dominated the news cycle in America and beyond, the famous personalities have parlayed that prominence into endorsement dollars. When not making music or movies or playing pro sports, celebrities slapping their valuable name on a product or lending their efforts to marketing purposes can boost sales dramatically.
From Michael Jordan’s Nikes — and Hanes and chain of restaurants — to George Foreman’s portable electric grills, celebrities constantly cash in on our infatuation with them, and that trend has translated seamlessly to the burgeoning cannabis industry in America.
As it became increasingly evident that forays into the legal marijuana sector would prove lucrative for those who branded quality products that connected with consumers, famous figures and cannabis companies began collaborating on products that could be marketed to their fan bases.
Here are some notable celebrity-endorsed weed offerings:
Chong’s Choice (Tommy Chong)
A true OG in cannabis culture, Tommy Chong is iconic in the industry and has blazed a trail for many of his counterparts in entertainment for decades by attempting to combat “reefer madness” with humor. Now, the actor offers customers a line of curated flower, concentrates, and edibles under his Chong’s Choice brand.
WIllie’s Reserve (Willie Nelson)
Country music legend Willie Nelson has been one of the faces of marijuana advocacy in the music industry for what seems like forever. On his new song, “Heaven is Closed,” the pony-tailed OG croons that he’ll “burn one for everyone in the world.”
The rest of the world can now join in on the sesh with him, as Willie has made his stash available, in many legalized markets, under the brand name Willie’s Reserve. Nelson’s cannabis company sells flower, edibles, and vape cartridges in case you’re “On the Road Again.”
Whoopi and Maya (Whoopi Goldberg)
Comedian, actress, and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg has been making Americans laugh for decades and hopes to keep customers smiling in more ways than one with her cannabis brand Whoopi & Maya. The collaboration with Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth features topicals and tinctures that receive rave reviews. Offering both THC and CBD products, the brand is poised to make waves for years to come with consumers who would rather not smoke their cannabis.
Viola Brands (Al Harrington)
When Marijuana.com asked Al Harrington, knowing what he knows now about medical marijuana, how his career may have played out differently had he employed cannabis to treat his pain rather than pharmaceuticals, he said: “If I could have managed my pain in the NBA the way I do now with cannabis without having to worry about testing dirty and being suspended, I definitely could have played a couple more years. And in a lot less pain, which is the key to it all.”
Harrington’s discovery of the power of cannabis led to him finding his true calling and a lucrative post-NBA career. Harrington runs Viola Brands, a multifaceted marijuana company that creates high-quality products for medical and recreational use. It’s named after his grandmother, who had a cannabis epiphany late in life and proved to Harrington just how powerful the plant could be.
Khalifa Kush (Wiz Khalifa)
Since rapper Wiz Khalifa dropped the stoner classic “Kush and Orange Juice” in 2010, it was clear the Pittsburgh native would carry the torch that his proverbial Uncle Snoop did before him, leading the stoner rap charge.
It should have come as no surprise then that Wiz would eventually dip his toes into the industry as a supplier rather than a smoker, though we’re pretty sure he gets high on his own supply. Teaming with master grower Berner, Wiz handcrafted his signature Khalifa Kush and quickly began expanding his operations. Grown and sold in Nevada, you can also find it in California and Arizona with new markets on the way.
Tyson Ranch (Mike Tyson)
While musicians and actors smoke their fair share of cannabis, it’s likely no one can attest to the plant’s pain-killing properties more than a professional boxer who withstood a lifetime of punches as research and development. Boxing legend Mike Tyson already conquered the ring by winning world championships in dominating fashion, and now he wants to reach the highest peaks of another industry, cannabis. After acquiring a 40-acre property in California to build his Tyson Ranchmarijuana company, the champ told Marijuana.com, “I’m sure everybody believes they’re the best, but we believe that we’re the best because we’re educating people on what happens with marijuana. It’s more than just getting high.” The company will offer both medicinal CBD and recreational THC products.
Andretti OG (Curren$y)
New Orleans artist Curren$y has long been one of the hardest-working rappers in the game, relentlessly dropping new music at a pace that thrills his fans and stresses out his opponents. Though if the pressure proves too much for his adversaries, they can always hit up the dispensary for some Andretti OG, though purchasing Spitta’s signature strain will likely produce even more braggadocious bars from the laid-back legend. With Andretti OG now available in concentrate form and another new strain called Jet Fuel now available, the Louisiana Lowrider doesn’t seem like he’ll be letting up on the gas anytime soon.
One of the more successful transitions from music to marijuana was made by West Coast rapper Kurupt, who got in on the green rush early and branded his Moonrock concoction to the masses with great success. The concentrate-infused and kief-dusted flowers are as potent as they are profitable, making Kurupt arguably a more lucrative commodity in cannabis than rap. If you have a high tolerance and some time to travel outside the Earth’s stratosphere, mix some Moonrocks into your rotation.
Tangie (Dr. Greenthumb/B-Real)
Though many a celebrity has stepped into the cannabis space, it’s rare that a product has transcended that public figure’s name and become a massive success on its own. Cypress Hill frontman B-Real has one of those products in his Tangie strain. The frosty Sativa, and the wide-range of Hybrid varieties of it, appear in dispensaries across the globe and the top-ten strains list on Weedmaps.
Maybe the most popular brand in cannabis over the last couple of years, Cookies has made its mark on the industry in a massive way. Berner’s cultivation company struck gold with their Girl Scout Cookies strain before the actual scouting organization threatened legal action and the name got cut to Cookies, which has now sprouted numerous retail locations and a successful merchandise line.
Marijuana.com reporter Noah White contributed to this report.