It had to happen. With the legalization of cannabis has come the professionalization of the business of selling marijuana. Along with that “branding”. And who better to brand than celebrities.
With the announcement this week of the closing of the Whoopie & Maya brand it is worth a quick overview of celebrity cannabis. Many are lending their name, image and their own brand. But many, like Whoopi Goldberg, who’s company was focused on medical cannabis specifically for women’s pain, are jumping in with their own hardwork and focus.
Celebs like Snoop Dog, Tommy Chong, and Willie Nelson – all open marijuana users and advocates, are no brainers. But entering the fray are celebs like Mike Tyson, Montel Williams and Melissa Ethridge – names that might not be automatically linked with marijuana use. Tyson is attempting to cash in on recreational cannabis and cann-tourism by breaking ground on a ranch in the California desert that will include both consumption opportunities, recreation, and manufacture.
Even the likes of Chelsea Handler – lending her name with a sisterhood focused brand, and Martha Stewart – getting into the pet arm of the industry, are jumping in with both feet.
But as celebrities enter they too will be susceptible to the vagaries of the market. In California, Whoopie Goldberg and partner Maya Elizabeth, who started their medical cannabis business back when only medical use was legal, struggled with the changing regulatory landscape once it became legal for recreational use.