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Cannabis Industry Gets Image Boost From Celebrities in 2016

December 29, 2016
FILE - This May 3, 2013 file photo shows Willie Nelson performing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival will launch this September, 2015 with a lineup that includes Nelson, Weezer, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Iron & Wine and Jimmy Cliff, among others. It will be held in Franklin, Tenn.e, just outside Nashville. Organizers said Tuesday, April 21, 2015 that many of the acts will be performing acoustically and will do so on wood-clad stages.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, file)
As we close in on the end of the year, it’s good to look at some of the bright spots from 2016, especially in the cannabis industry. Let’s face it, the growing legalization movement was one of the few bright spots of the year because if we’re keeping it totally 100, 2016 totally sucked ass.

There were many wins worth celebrating this past year, but one of the bigger milestones that should be recognized is the number of famous people jumping headfirst into the cannabis industry, with several celebrities debuting brands this year in an effort to bring cannabis products into the mainstream.

Country music legend Willie Nelson, one of the industry’s most decorated cannabis advocates, now has an adult-use cannabis company to serve those in legal states throughout the country. Willie’s Reserve is a higher-end cannabis company that offers a number of different products ranging from flowers, to pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and disposable vaporizers. Nelson has always been one to light up a joint and pass it to his left, as Willie’s Reserve’s tag line is, “My stash is your stash.”

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A close friend of Nelson, Snoop Dogg has also jumped into the cannabis industry. This year, he debuted Leafs by Snoop, a cannabis product company selling its line in Colorado and Canada only. Snoop’s line includes flower products, wax and oil products, and an edibles line called Dogg Treats.

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Tommy Chong also has a cannabis brand titled Chong’s Choice. The Cheech & Chong legend has been a loud voice for the advocacy movement, working tirelessly to destigmatize the plant, so it’s only fitting that you can now get some of his hand-selected products. Chong’s Choice is available now in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Musicians and comedians alike weren’t the only celebrities to dabble with the cannabis industry in 2016, as the Cannathlete movement started to get traction as well. A number of former professional athletes came out in support of cannabis legalization during the year, with former NFL All-Pro running back Ricky Williams being one of the most noteworthy to do so.

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Williams, along with a few business partners, opened the world’s first cannabis-friendly gym in San Francisco called Power Plant Fitness. The gym’s goal is to incorporate cannabis with someone’s workout, whether that means consuming prior to exercising or post-workout to aid in recovery.

We would be remiss to not mention the legend himself, Bob Marley, as the Marley family has brought Marley Natural to the market. (Note: Marley Natural is owned by Privateer Holdings, the parent company of Leafly.) The cannabis brand incorporates a lot of Bob’s favorite strains and cannabis-related items combined with today’s technology and growing techniques. Marley Natural is currently available for purchase in Oregon, with future stores opening in Washington State and California in 2017.

What were some of your favorite brands that debuted this year, and which celebrities are you hoping will throw their hat into the ring in 2017?

Gage Peake's Bio Image

Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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