Celebrity Endorsements in the Cannabis Industry

Since the 1760s celebrities have endorsed products. There is a long history of these products being medicines and intoxicants – from Pope Leo XIII personally endorsing Vin Mariani (a drink made of cocaine and wine) to Ronald Reagan endorsing Chesterfield cigarettes (even though he didn’t smoke!). Well the cannabis industry is no different and despite the regulatory challenges, celebs are getting in on the cannabis gold rush by partnering with cannabis companies. Here are a few celebrities involved in cannabis companies that are publicly traded.

Gene Simmons

The Kiss frontman doesn’t smoke (or drink or do drugs) but that didn’t stop him from lighting up British Columbia-based Invictus MD (CVE:GENE) with a $10 million dollar investment. Invictus MD is a licensed producer of cannabis. Simmons was quoted saying “I’m incredibly bullish on the product and, particularly, on this company”.

He partnered with the company as its “Chief Evangelist Officer”. In Canada, cannabis companies are barred from using celebrity endorsements, so Invictus MD CEO Dan Kriznic brought Simmons on board due to his track record in brand marketing and a long history of business acumen.

Gwyneth Paltrow

I’m gonna be totally honest here and admit I don’t know much about Gwyneth Paltrow’s acting career, but I do know that her lifestyle brand GOOP is very influential and well-known for some “controversial” claims about what certain eggs can do for women’s health. She’s a huge celebrity – that’s what matters – and her company GOOP has teamed up with MedMen (CSE:MMEN).

MedMen operate 19 licensed cannabis facilities in cultivation, manufacturing, and retail in the United States. There will be a specially curated Goop wall at a MedMen dispensary in Venice stocked with products approved by the company.

Trailer Park Boys

It doesn’t take rocket appliances to know that the Trailer Park Boys love weed. Now OrganiGram (CVE:OGI) has teamed up with Ricky, Julian and Bubbles as their “exclusive Canadian cannabis producer, business partner and brand developer” according to a press release.

TPB Productions Ltd. will work with OrganiGram to develop branding, packaging and a product portfolio targeting recreational cannabis consumers. OrganiGram will be sole distributor. The partnership also includes product placement and branding of non-cannabis related products – a nice move for OrganiGram, getting two birds stoned at once.

Tragically Hip

A press release two years ago announced that members of the band The Tragically Hip are “significant investors” in Newstrike Brands Ltd. (CVE:HIP). The band will also be involved in the company’s branding efforts. Newstrike Brands Ltd. owns the Up Cannabis brand which has many strains named after Tragically Hip songs.

Martha Stewart/Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg is no stranger to forming partnerships between seemingly disparate peoples – he brokered peace between the Bloods and Crips in 2016, after all (true story). The man is always looking to make big moves, and this year is no different.

Snoop hooked up Canopy Growth Corp (TSE:WEED), whom he has already lent his name to the Leafs by Snoop brand, with his TV pal and legendary homemaker (and businesswoman) Martha Stewart. Stewart has signed on to join Canopy in an advisory role to help develop a new line of products.

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