What Would Marley Do?
As marijuana legalization continues its historic move forward, many have wondered how long it would be before the biggest names would start attaching themselves to brands within the movement.
And while Snoop has his own commercially available vape pen and Tommy Chong is affiliated with a Colorado pot seller, perhaps the biggest weed-related celebrity came out Tuesday with the news that he will, posthumously, back a new “global cannabis brand” with his very valuable name and cache.
Marley Natural, a new brand announced Tuesday, “will offer premium cannabis products that honor the life and legacy of Bob Marley as well as his belief in the benefits of cannabis,” according to the brand’s press materials. The brand, a division of Leafly owner Privateer Holdings, will launch in late-2015 in legal markets by offering “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains inspired by those Bob Marley enjoyed.”
It’s not the first time the Marley clan has taken advantage of their well-known name. Earlier this year, son Rohan Marley came to Denver to relocate the headquarters of his Marley Coffee company, which features bike-mounted coffee carts pedaling across the metro area.
The Marley Natural brand will also offer marijuana-infused topicals — and of course plenty of accessories wrapped with their smart and subtle branding (seen at left). The group will attempt to create a commercial enterprise around Marley’s love of “the herb.”
“When you smoke the herb it reveals you to yourself,” Marley famously said.
But how is Marley’s family pitching the Marley Naturals news?
“My husband believed ‘the herb’ was a natural and positive part of life,” Rita Marley, Bob’s wife, said in the release, “and he felt it was important to the world. He looked forward to this day.”
Cedella Marley, Bob’s daughter, added: “My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb. He viewed the herb as something spiritual that could awaken our well-being, deepen our reflection, connect us to nature and liberate our creativity. Marley Natural is 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.”
And Rohan Marley had a slightly more corporate line on the announcement: “We are joining with Privateer Holdings because they understand and respect our father’s legacy.”
Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy was excited for obvious reasons in his statement.
“Marley Natural is a partnership between two cannabis pioneers,” Kennedy said. “The Marley family has been an admired voice in the cannabis movement for over 50 years, and Privateer Holdings is the leader in building professional, mainstream cannabis brands. We’ve learned a lot over the past year about Bob’s views towards cannabis and how he viewed the herb differently. We are honored to work with the Marley family to bring his voice to a professional, authentic and modern brand that will be a defining first in the cannabis industry.”