Back in 2016, we reported on how Willie Nelson’s cannabis business was searching for skilled professionals looking to work in the cannabis industry. The company must have found some of the right people to surround Willie and help him grow the business, because Willie’s Reserve just scored a huge deal that will help them expand into the legal marijuana market in California. Currently, Willie’s Reserve is available in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada.
New York based firm Tuatara Capital made the bulk of the $12 million dollar investment in GCH, the parent company of Willie’s Reserve. GCH says they plan to secure $40 million in funding total. The Willie’s Reserve Brand also includes Annie’s Edibles, a line of chocolates and hard candies that was founded by Willie’s wife, Annie.
“We’re on the right side of history. People have spoken with their votes and their dollars. Now that we’ve proven regulating and taxing is good for individuals and business and states, it’s pretty clear that pot is good for America. I’m glad a lot of these guys can come out of the shadows, back into the sunlight. Cannabis is also creating some good opportunities for American farmers,” Willie Nelson said in a press release.
Companies in every industry have their own unique hurdles involving state-to-state expansion. Regulations, compliance requirements, demographics, and the like can vary widely in just about every state. The cannabis industry faces arguably the most of said hurdles, so the growth of Willie’s Reserve into all of these states is a pretty big win for the brand. With the extremely lucrative success of large cannabis brands like Willie’s, it’s official that weed has now gone mainstream.
Obviously, it doesn’t hurt that Willie’s Reserve brings along the fame of a celebrity like country legend Willie Nelson. Fellow musicians, such as Melissa Etheridge, The Marley Family, Snoop Dogg, Ghostface Killah and Wiz Khalifa, have all started their own cannabis businesses or put their faces on cannabis products.
The number of celebrity-backed cannabis businesses will probably only increase as the industry expands and more states remove age-old cannabis prohibition laws. Some people might view that as a good thing, while others might view celebrity weed companies as a sign of the inevitable take over of ‘Corporate Pot’. We will let you decide. What do you think? Do celebrity cannabis companies help progress the industry as a whole, or not? Let us know in the comments.