April is spring break, 420, and the start of festival season. So, this round up is dedicated to musicians that own and operate cannabis brands and businesses. Musicians and cannabis go together like chicken and waffles, it seems.
In fact, a recent study published in medical review journal Frontiers in Neurology showed that painkillers were ninety percent more effective when combined with music, than when painkillers were taken alone.
While cannabis has, unfortunately, not been adequately researched for its potential pain-relieving benefits, it does goes well with music–as you’ll see from this list of musical cannabis players, movers, and shakers:
Snoop Dogg–Simply put, Snoop is a cannabis king with indisputable street cred, who has parlayed cannabis into a budding empire. In 2016, Canadian mega-cannabis conglomerate Canopy Growth brought on the rapper’s Leafs by Snoop brand with some sweet shares and stock options. Since then, other celebs have come under the Canopy umbrella–most recently, Seth Rogan, as well as Snoop’s friend and cooking show co-host Martha Stewart. The Dogg’s newest trick? Last year his venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital raised $45 million to invest in cannabis businesses.
The Marley Family–If Snoop is a king, then the Marleys are the royal family of cannabis; part of the legacy of near divine stature for late, legendary reggae musician and family patriarch Bob Marley. With eleven children, several family members are cannabis entrepreneurs and industry professionals. Youngest son Damien Marley is a musician and co-owner of legendary Rolling Stone magazine with a group of investors. Sister Cedella has authored a cannabis cookbook and is CEO at Marley Natural, the family’s cannabis brand. Another brother, Stephen, has curated Miami-based Kaya Fest, an event that celebrates reggae, cannabis, and natural living–where the family annually unites to play the main stage. This year’s fest is on April 20th, in Miami.
Willie Nelson–How cool is it to be Willie Nelson, who became a cannabis icon just by being honest about its use? One reward of longevity is that you live to prove you were right about some things and, at 85, Nelson is the elder statesman of chill. Musician, singer/songwriter, actor, entrepreneur, and activist, Nelson has been a longtime proponent of cannabis as co-chair of NORML’s advisory board; he also has advocated for the environment, animal welfare, LGBT causes, and co-founded the Farm Aid fundraiser. He also owns a biodiesel company. His cannabis ventures include Willie’s Reserve, his curated cannabis product brand, and Willie’s Remedy, a CBD-infused whole bean coffee blend.
B-Real of Cypress Hill–The original Dr. Greenthumb and OG Los Angeles rapper, B-Real’s contribution to hip hop and cannabis culture is undeniable. Last summer in Sylmar, California, B-Real opened Dr. Greenthumb’s, his high-end, flagship dispensary. This summer, the rapper is on the road with Cypress Hill, with dates in California and Europe to promote their latest release, “Elephants on Acid.” A cannabis advocate since back in the day, through both lyrics and actions, B-Real continues to comment on the current political landscape with power rock-rap project Prophets of Rage (with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello).
Berner–Bay Area native, rapper, and cannabis entrepreneur Berner recently was named one of High Time’s “100 Most Influential People in Cannabis” (alongside Damien Marley, Willie Nelson, and B-Real; also named here). A mogul-in-the-making, his Cookies brand is popular with hipster kids, old school smokers, and other well-known rappers who frequent Cookies Melrose location, on a highly fashionable stretch of the world-famous shopping destination. Cookies also has its first L.A. area dispensary, located in the town of Maywood, adjacent to the company’s 25,000 square foot indoor farm. There’s also a popular line of logo-ed merch, which includes hoodies, flat brimmed caps, and backpacks. Die Antwoord–The South African zef rap rave group may not be a household name in the U.S., but in their native country and the European festival circuit, they’ve built an enthusiastic following since coming on the scene in 2009. The duo, Ninja and Yolandi Visser, have partnered with California-based Natural Cannabis, to produce their Zef Zol brand of pre-rolls, dried flower, and oil cartridges. Natural Cannabis sources its flower from local, Northern California cannabis farmers. The company also supports global arts and promotes artists through its High Art project, in which Zef Zol and Die Antwoord are featured.