CELEBRITY WEED: High Profile Strains In the Spotlight

By: Holly Highlife

It’s hard to deny that weed and music go together. In America cannabis was widely associated with jazz musicians until it was made illegal. But weed never left the world of jazz and blues. It simply went underground. It burst into the American consciousness again in the 1960’s with hippies, protests and flower children. Fast forward again and rappers openly embrace cannabis, even carving out a genre called “stoner rap” or “weed rap.” Today, weed references are everywhere. (Even country music!) And who doesn’t think a nice buzz enhances concerts and music?

It was only a matter of time before changing laws in this country gave celebrities a new way to reach fans by promoting their cannabis of choice. A number of musicians have or are developing their own strains, including Snoop Dogg, Wiz Kalifa, Willie Nelson and the Marley family. Comedian Tommy Chong has “Chong Star.”

Maka Kala’i of Organic Alternatives laughed when I asked if Snoop Dogg’s strain was the same MILF weed he enjoyed on the cable series “Weeds.”

“A lot of this started in California by a “grower to the stars.” But some strains are developed here in Colorado including several by Denver dispensary Groundswell.

  • Bassist Otiel Burbridge of Dead and Company wore at t-shirt promoting his “Egyptian Kush” at a recent concert at Folsom Field in Boulder. That t-shirt prompted a run on the strain. The Denver dispensary Groundswell developed of Burbridge’s strain.
  • My friend Jordan has given Snoop’s Leaves a try. He was more impressed by the packaging than the flowers. “It was good, but nothing to write home about.” The Snoop’s Leaves website shows the product available at about 100 dispensaries statewide. His product line has expanded to also include shatter.

This isn’t to throw shade at Snoop’s strain. With each dispensary growing its own product, even a genetically identical strain can be vastly different from location to location depending on the growing conditions.

  • Bob Marley’s music and life celebrated the plant and I’m bummed his products are only available in California.
  • Willie Nelson’s cannabis use has made the cultural icon legendary for more than his music. (And I personally believe busting Willie at a drug checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas was something akin to shooting fish in a barrel!)
  • His company was recently hiring growers and other staff in Colorado and I’m excited to see what Willie has to offer. Smoking weed with Willie is a personal bucket list item that will likely never happen. This may be the closest I get!
  • Melissa Etheridge is adding THC to wine. The singer became convinced of the medicinal value of cannabis during her battle with breast cancer. Her line of Private Reserve Cannabis Infused Wine Tincture is only available in California. I’m fascinated by this concept, but I wonder if there is a lingering “bong water” taste.
  • Wiz Kalifa’s strain “Kalifa’s Kush” is one of the Cali brands. It only made its way to Denver last April 20th and is sold exclusively by River Rocks dispensary locations. Leafly gives the hybrid strain 4.7 stars.

I was going to buy some on a recent trip to Denver but the strain was sold out. All that was left was some keif in the bottom of the jar, but it smelled promising with strong citrusy notes.

Kala’i said Organic Alternatives doesn’t have current plans to carry a celebrity brand but is always interested new developments. “With our proximity to the Aggie we attract our fair share of celebrities.” He considers the celebrity presence in the cannabis business a way to continue to legitimize the cannabis industry.

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