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Celebrity Cannabis: Meet the Stars and Their Strains

Check out a few of the more well-known celebrity cannabis brands but in all honesty, none of these will probably come as a surprise.

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PHOTO | Courtesy Wiz Khalifa
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It seems that the rich and famous always have their hands in a variety of projects. Whether it’s an actor putting out his first musical album or a chef designing their own line of eyewear, it’s not uncommon to see people getting into multiple industries. Nowhere is this truer than in the cannabis world, where celebrities are getting in on some of the action. Check out a few of the more well-known celebrity cannabis brands but in all honesty, none of these will probably come as a surprise. Just imagine who you think would be most likely to create their own weed? Yup, you probably guessed right.

Snoop: Leafs by Snoop

 

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@snoopdogg in the getup for a walk through the weeds #LeafsBySnoop

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Unless you live under a rock, you’re not shocked that Snoop Dogg is a big fan of weed. So much so that he launched his own line, Leafs by Snoop, in 2015. Cannabis lovers will find a wide array of products including flower, concentrates, edibles, and “Dogg treats.” The brand is currently only available in Colorado and Canada with plans to expand in the future.

Marley Family: Marley Natural

 

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Stack it up this weekend. Stop by @greendoormetrosac or @kannabisworks for fresh Marley Natural Studio herb. ⠀ #marleynatural #feelingirie⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children.

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Bob is probably rejoicing in heaven right now as his own brand of cannabis products are hitting the market with rave reviews. Called Marley Natural, the line is an homage to the man himself and his passion for all things weed. Flower is divided into four categories and you’ll even be able to purchase extracts under the same groupings. California and Washington markets currently sell Marley Natural.

Tommy Chong: Chong’s Choice

 

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It’s the best choice you’ll make #chongschoice

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Big shocker here – Tommy Chong has his own high-end line of cannabis. He hand selects specific strains and offers pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and has even developed THC breath strips. While he was once associated with silly antics and a stereotypical “stoner” mentality, he’s really blossomed into a trusted name in the industry.

Wiz Khalifa: Khalifa Kush

 

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#KK

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Rap artist Wiz Khalifa created Khalifa Kush in conjunction with RiverRock Cannabis. Though the formula is secret, it appears similar to OG Kush with a lemony taste. Khalifa Kush is strong Indica with a high THC content. It is 80% Indica, only 20% Sativa, but with as high as 26% THC.

Mike Tyson: Tyson Ranch

 

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Saturday close up 🤙 #TysonRanch

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The former boxer has purchased a plot of land 50 miles from Los Angeles to start his own pot farm. Whether he will create specific branding and market his products beyond just personal use is unknown, but it’s an interesting development to keep your eye on.

Celebrity Cannabis: Honorable Mentions

 

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L A S T M A N S T A N D I N G A hybrid proudly bred and grown by Amelia and Shane Osburn of @solgrow Mendocino and selected by Willie Nelson to pair with his 64th studio Album. A cross of Blueberry and Purple Urkle. Its oversized crystal structure and light foliage color can be traced back to the Big Wreck strain, while its distinctive citrus aroma derives from Orange Tree. Last Man Standing has a deep fruity flavor and smells like an orange grove. It will leave you feeling uplifted and energized, which you’ll need if you want a fighting chance of keeping up with Willie. #freshdrops now in California powered by @flow_kana : @calaveraslittletrees @bigsurcannabotanicals @officialojaigreens @desertorganicsolutions #organicsolutionsofthedesert @torrey.sandiego @cannaculturesanjose @perennialholistic . . . . . #williesreserve #lastmanstanding #flowkana #solgrow #sharethestash #legendary #thecaliforniaway #california #californiadreaming #calforniaweed #californiacannabis #hollyweed #willienelson #itsallgoingtopot #rollmeupandsmokemewhenidie #weedstayhiigh #weedsociety #cannabis #americannabis #cannabisculture #cannabissociety #cannabiscommunity #cannabisnews #legalized #legalweed #cannabisnews #musicnews #emeraldtriangle

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Other well-known celebrity cannabis brands include Willie Nelson, Ghostface Killah and even Melissa Etheridge. Not only are the rich and famous crafting their own products, but it’s becoming more and more common to associate themselves with what has become a booming industry. In mid-2018, KISS frontman Gene Simmons was paid a cool $2.5 million to act as CEO of a cannabis startup.

It goes without saying that the world of cannabis is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s not just for losers. When so much money is on the line to craft and market high-end weed, the one question we have to ask ourselves is who’s next? Before long, we might have a celebrity cannabis brands by the Olsen twins or Tom Cruise, but until then, we can enjoy the fine products from some of our favorite stoners.

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New Odor-Proof Bags Will Keep Your Stash Safe & Stylish

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Higher Standards x Revelry

Cannabis carryalls have come a long way. Continued advancement in smell-prevention technology has created a new breed of odor-proof bags. Just in time for 420, two of the cool kid brands have just launched a collection of form-meets-function travel bags to keep your stash safe.

The Higher Standards x Revelry collection fuses East Coast style with the West Coast spirit of adventure. Each odor-proof bag in the collection is made with Revelry’s signature three-layered carbon filtration system of activated charcoal and synthetic filters that soak up all unwanted smells.

The collab showcases minimalist design with maximum technicality across four odor-proof bags — a fanny pack; zip pouch; dopp kit and backpack. Additionally, the bags are waterproof, made from lightweight fabrics with heavy-duty rubber backing, and seal shut with double-lined zippers.

Higher Standards x Revelry collection is available now in stores and online.

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The Highly Anticipated Collab Between Bllrdr x G Pen Has Dropped

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Bllrdr x G Pen
Noah “40” Shebib with the new G Pen Dash | PHOTO Mark Blinch

G Pen has partnered with Bllrdr to introduce a new collaboration, an exclusive co-branded global line of G Pen advanced technology vaporizers, starting with the Bllrdr x G Pen Dash.

This collab integrates new cannabis products from Bllrdr with G Pen’s proprietary innovative technologies and hardware, to make for even more brand diversity of the popular G Pen vaporizers.

Helping to both elevate and advance the cannabis experience, the two companies have a shared history of innovation, something that is set to continue with each brand to bring sought-after collaborations to the market.

Bllrdr x G Pen
Noah “40” Shebib grinds his iconic Afghani BullriderPhoto by Mark Blinch

Bllrdr is a Toronto-based cannabis brand founded by Noah “40” Shebib, a Grammy award-winning producer, and Jef Tek, a legendary cultivator. The brand is known for its extensive market-leading cannabis genetics and small-batch production, developing rare and special cut strains.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Shebib discovered the benefits of using the Afghani Bullrider cultivar. Tek’s late wife, medical marijuana activist Michelle Rainey, who suffered from Crohn’s disease and cancer, also found the strain offered relief from her symptoms.

G Pen, known for championing and celebrating the connection between consumption and art, is thrilled to partner with Bllrdr, Canada’s best new lifestyle cannabis brand, supporting its people and their mission.

“I’ve known Noah since the early stages of G Pen,” says G Pen CEO and founder Chris Folkerts, “and this partnership brings it full circle.”

“It’s an honor to be a part of the launch of the most highly-anticipated and unique genetics in the Ontario market.”

Bllrdr x G Pen
Noah “40” Shebib at his studio in Toronto with the new G Pen Dash | PHOTO Mark Blinch

Now, the two brands plan to bring sought-after collaborations to the market increasing the brand diversity of the popular G Pen vaporizers by integrating new cannabis products from Bllrdr with G Pen’s proprietary innovative technologies and hardware.

This first release from the G Pen x Bllrdr Collection is well-timed, with the launch of Bllrdr’s highly anticipated Afghani Bullrider strain — considered as one of the rarest genetics on the market — now officially available on the Ontario Cannabis Store. And just like Afghani Bullrider, the Bllrdr x G Pen Dash delivers satisfying and flavorful results.

The Bllrdr x G Pen Dash is now available in select Ontario retailers and on bllrdrco.co.

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5 Tips for Owning and Operating Successful Cannabis Dispensaries

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Cannabis Dispensaries
PHOTOS | Shiny Bud

The cannabis retail landscape has changed. Once regarded as somewhat of a novelty, legalization has allowed cannabis dispensaries to evolve into modern and innovative retail storefronts more akin to an Apple Store than the dark, secretive spaces they used to be. Some, like Shiny Bud, are proving to be leaders in the space, setting an exemplary standard of a contemporary cannabis retail experience.

Shiny Bud is one of Canada’s most successful dispensary chains. They pride themselves on offering customers a premium experience from the moment they enter, from a contemporary and inviting store design to highly trained staff, and of course, premium products.

Co-founder Alex Ledesma joined the cannabis industry when the Canadian government passed the Cannabis Act in 2018. She comes from a forward-thinking family of entrepreneurs, so the move to cannabis was an obvious next step.

“I saw an opportunity to be part of something big in Canada’s history, so we started following the industry, and applied for an application,” said Ledesma. 

Shiny Bud opened its first dispensary in Toronto on February 14. Fast forward only a few months, and the company has opened the doors to its fifth location in a small town called Orleans, just outside of Ottawa.

“We have a pretty aggressive rollout,” said Ledesma. “Coming from a quick-service industry, we’re quite comfortable with builds and finding locations. We took our expertise from that and put it into cannabis. And it’s all completely within the family.”

Shiny Bud was awarded 75 dispensary licenses by the Canadian government. The company’s expansion plans include two more Ontario store openings this year, bringing the total number of store openings to seven. And they have no plans to slow down.

“We should be hitting 30 stores by the end of 2021. And we’re planning on maxing out to 75 stores allocated. When we stop to think about it, it can take our breath away.”

The constant march forward of legalization has created an ever-growing interest in dispensary ownership. Below, Ledesma offers up five pieces of advice for those looking to enter the cannabis game.

1. Have a Well-Trained Team That’s Focused on Customer Experience 

As the industry is still so young, formal education in cannabis is still relatively scarce amongst prospective employees. For Shiny Bud, this presents an opportunity to reinforce one of their most important business objectives: provide cannabis education and training for their budtenders to pass on to their customers.

“Education is everything because the industry’s so new,” Ledesma said. “We truly believe that we’re an industry where we need to listen to our guests. This is one of the first things we teach our budtenders, along with providing a safe and educational experience for our customers in-store.” 

For many customers, the biggest value in going to a dispensary is learning which products are best suited for a specific condition or effect, whether they’re seasoned cannabis consumers or newly curious. 

“The goal for budtenders at Shiny Bud is to ensure customers are choosing the right product for them to provide a safe experience both in-store and at home,” Ledesma said.

2. Create a Guest Centric Environment 

This goes without saying, but customer service is critical to the success of any retail operation. Ledesma attributes Shiny Bud’s success to the brand’s core vision of providing a “fast and friendly cannabis retail destination.”

“We strive to offer our customers a unique and memorable experience — this has stayed with us since day one,” Ledesma said. “When you walk into any of our Shiny Bud cannabis dispensaries, they’re bright, they’re big, and there’s a lot of education. The budtenders are dressed uniformly, and there’s personality — it’s not what people expect.”

Watching the change in customer demographic has been encouraging to Ledesma, who notes the increase in the 60+ demographic looking to add cannabis to their health and wellness, whether it be recreational, or to aid with a specific ailment.

“As a disclaimer, we always have to tell them that we’re not doctors and we can’t give them medical advice, so to start low and go slow,” Ledesma said. “It’s nice to see people like my mom, my dad, and grandparents come through the door, because you also know you’re helping break down the stigma.”

Cannabis Dispensaries
Shiny Bud cannabis dispensaries are bright and clean, with plenty of quality products and customer education opportunities.

3. Stock the Best Inventory 

With so many quality products now available, choosing which ones to bring to Shiny Bud is quite a lengthy process. 

“We carry out a lot of research in terms of what’s new or trending, and what our customers are looking for in each location,” Ledesma said. “I wish I knew consumers’ buying preferences before our initial order was placed. We ended up buying too much!”

“We also use recommendations from our team members, our budtenders, and our customers. A lot of times we bring in representatives of the licensed producers to educate our budtenders about the products we’re selling.”

The three most popular purchases across three Shiny Bud locations are dried flower, vapes, and pre-rolls. “Our most frequently asked question is, ‘what is your highest THC or CBD?’” Ledesma said.

4. Have a Great Location  

The age-old proverb of “location, location, location” rings true in the cannabis industry, too. Finding the right real estate is arguably the most important part of retail success. Plus, because of the industry’s prohibition history and the nature of the products being sold, it’s important to find understanding landlords.

“Initially, landlords have said to us, ‘absolutely not, we will not entertain the idea of having a cannabis retailer here,’ so I invite them to take a look at one of our dispensaries so they can see the vision of what and who we are as a company and as an industry.”

5. Ensure Your Cannabis Dispensaries Connect with the Community 

Dispensaries are already major focal points in their communities. For Ledesma, giving back and helping break down old stigmas related to cannabis is a top priority. 

Shiny Bud is in the process of launching a collaboration with Tsaichedelic to create a line of tie-dyed tees and other merchandise. The proceeds will go towards supporting Cannabis Amnesty projects, like providing legal counsel to get those with criminal records over minor cannabis charges expunged. 

“Being a woman and a person of color in the cannabis space, I really believe in the fact that it needs to be the same playing fields for everybody,” Ledesma said. “Teaming up with Cannabis Amnesty just felt right.”

With the regulated cannabis market still so new, it’s important that business owners are able to adapt to changes and weather the ever-changing landscape of cannabis and the regulations.  

“It’s ever-changing, so we’re constantly learning and growing from it,” Ledesma said. “Regulations are always changing, so being fluid helps a lot.”

Look for Shiny Bud cannabis dispensaries in Canada and keep an eye out for their expansion into America in 2021.

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