Call it a match made in Jamaica. A group of marijuana entrepreneurs has joined with the family of the late reggae legend Bob Marley to sell an exclusive line of high-quality weed.
Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm in the marijuana market, announced in November that it would launch Marley Naturals, an international brand of pot and paraphernalia.
Marley Naturals will provide “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains,” including weed Marley himself supposedly toked. Lotions and accessories will also be sold.
“My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb,” said daughter Cedella Marley. “He viewed the herb as something spiritual that could awaken our well-being, deepen our reflection, connect us to nature and liberate our creativity.”
The product launch, Cedella Marley said, was an “authentic way to honor his legacy by adding his voice to the conversation about cannabis and helping end the social harms caused by prohibition.”
Marley did more than any other musician to meld music and marijuana. A Rastafarian, he believed weed is a sacrament that brings users closer to the divine. The Rastafarians have fought for decades to gain recognition for their religious uses of the drug.
Marley Naturals won’t be available in the musician’s home country, at least not for a while. Jamaica decriminalized weed this summer, but sale is still prohibited. Marley Naturals will target U.S. states that have legalized recreational cannabis.
“We are in a state of rapid transformation,” said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings. “Some 70% of Americans now live in a state where cannabis in some form is legal.”
Weed is currently legal in two states, Washington and Colorado, and soon will be in two others, Alaska and Oregon. Voters have also legalized pot in Washington, D.C.
The small South American nation of Uruguay is the only other place where marijuana is explicitly legal, and the future of that market is uncertain. Marley Naturals will instead target an American audience, at least until Jamaica and other countries legalize.
The company will be based in New York City, Kennedy said. The match made perfect since, given Marley’s lifelong devotion to cannabis, Kennedy said.
“There is probably no better known cultural icon related to cannabis than Bob Marley,” Kennedy said. “He called cannabis the herb and he said the herb is the healing of the nation. And he wasn’t talking about a country, he was talking about mankind.”