It seems like every time I get on social media these days there is another celebrity coming out with their own marijuana strain. Tommy Chong was the first that I heard of, entering into an agreement with a marijuana store in Pueblo, Colorado which involved them using Tommy Chong’s name for products, including his own marijuana strain. The next that I heard about was Bob Marley (rest in peace). Then it was Willie Nelson with ‘Willie’s Reserve.’ And most recently it was Snoop Dogg and now Rihanna.
These celebrity strains are a no-brainer for the most part. All of these names are well known and revered in the marijuana community. Celebrity endorsements are not new, and since they work in other industries, why not try them with marijuana? If Michael Jordan can sells sneakers and Gatorade, than celebrities should also be able to sell marijuana too, right?
Like I always say, marijuana is different. Just because something works in other industries does not mean that it will work in the marijuana industry. This is due to the fact that consumer habits and desires in the marijuana community are different than they are in most other industries. After all, sneakers and Gatorade weren’t prohibited for several decades, and Michael Jordan wasn’t considered to be a criminal in the eyes of the law when he wore sneakers or used Gatorade. Had Michael Jordan been pushing strains of weed, it would have been a different story!
Many (not all, don’t freak out) marijuana consumers don’t like ‘big marijuana,’ or even the thought of it. Also many (again, not all, stay calm) marijuana consumers demand authenticity. So when celebrities come out with their own strains that they obviously didn’t bread and/or grow, it could cause a consumer confidence problem that a lot of these companies aren’t anticipating. Marijuana consumers are already asking the question, ‘are these endeavors authentic, or are they just a ploy to make money at all costs?’
All of the celebrities coming out with their own strains are consumers themselves, and seem to smoke like broken chimneys. So hopefully they are participating in the development of these strains, even if it’s just to consume them. No one should care more about the quality of the end product than the people with their names tied to the strains. These strains are going to create very high expectations (no pun intended) with consumers, and anything short of the best end product on the market, and the strain could fall flat.
A bad endorsement deal outside of the marijuana world is not a very big deal usually. If a pro athlete endorses a sneaker that people don’t like, they just come out with another one the next year and all is well. But again, marijuana is different. Marijuana is so tied to these celebrities persona that if someone tries Willie’s strain or Snoop’s strain and it’s not good, that reflect directly on that celebrity. Marijuana is such a big part of their identities that a flop could hurt their image a lot.
What do TWB readers think about these strains? Do you have extremely high expectations like I do, or are you just happy to be smoking a strain that is named after one of your favorite people? If the strain proves to be less than desirable, would that change your opinion of the celebrity who the strain is named after? I look forward to reading what you have to say.