The late Nate Dogg would've been, to put it mildly, pleased that the US is slowly but surely relaxing its restrictions and laws on marijuana – after all, it was he who uttered the immortal "smoke weed every day" on Dr. Dre's 1999 smash hit 'The Next Episode'.
With the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational use now legal in five US states – and some form of decriminalisation or allowances for medicinal use in place in over 20 more states – a growing number of US musicians have decided to make a little extra pocket money by selling a bit of weed here, and starting up a fully commercial marijuana multimedia platform there. But who exactly are these budding marijuana moguls who're blazing a trail in "The Great Green Rush" of 2015? Let's head through the smoke and see...
holy shit. i did it. it took 15 years but i finally did it. i'm the first person to ever do this pic.twitter.com/xAN7rw96jG— rob whisman (@robwhisman) July 20, 2015
Lachey – of 98 Degrees and Nick and Jessica fame – had an awful lot riding on Ohio’s legalisation bill this week: as co-owner of a 29-acre weed farm in Akron, Lachey reaaally needed this bill to go through. So much so, in fact, that he and his fellow weed farm investors in the state (which included descendants of President Taft and a number of former US sports stars) put nearly $4 million into making the ballot actually happen – in addition to the $10 million that they'd each paid for their respective farms. But on Tuesday night Ohioans rejected the bill, meaning that marijuana would remain illegal in the state and that Lachey wouldn’t make the projected $1 billion had the vote gone the other way. Shame, eh?
What they said:
And then after the defeat:
Cypress Hill's B-Real
Insane in the membrane? B-Real is certainly serious about this business venture, after he was selected as one of only six applicants (out of 630) to be granted the right to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Orange County, California.
What they say: "I definitely want it to be eye candy, eye-popping, eye-catching, an experience. We want it to be a place where you can come get quality meds responsibly and all that stuff, but we want it to be an experience as well."
The Bob Marley Estate
Bob considered marijuana to be "a healing herb", and believed its use to be prevalent in certain bible passages. So yeah, it's not too surprising to hear that his family have teamed up with venture capital firm Privateer Holdings to set up a Bob-inspired cannabis brand, Marley Natural.
What they said: "When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself."
The country star started his own cannabis company, Willie's Reserve, in April because – apparently – he likes to smoke up every now and again. Who knew? Backed, like the Marley family, by a private equity funding group, Nelson says the company will place environmental and social issues first and foremost in order to "support the gradual end of marijuana prohibition across America."
What they say: "There should be a menu just like in a restaurant because there's so many different kinds of pot that do many different things. It's a good idea to have everything labelled for what it does, what it don't do [and] how powerful it is."
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is doing things a little bit differently: her idea to infuse wine with weed (or should that be weed with wine?) and market it to the people who want to experience the effects of marijuana without actually having to smoke it is certainly an intriguing one. Crediting the plant's role in her recovery from breast cancer, Etheridge is a keen advocate for its legalisation.
What they say: "Cannabis and wine have both been around for thousands of years… but the notion of a commercial cannabis wine industry is brand new. Even the idea of ganjapreneurs is still relatively new. So we’re on the front line of this thing."
The 'Black and Yellow' rapper is known to be fond of the odd toke – he's only naming his next album Rolling Papers 2: The Weed Album, after all. So it's little surprise to find out that Wiz has already released two strains of ganja in recent years that are exclusively available at the Cookie Co. dispensaries in San Francisco and San Jose.
What they say: "Not everybody gets to smoke KK [Khalifa Kush, his second hybrid strain]."
How could Snoop not feature on this list of musical ganjapreneurs? Because of course he's launched the weed-inclined multimedia platform Merry Jane, which has the slogan "Cannabis. Culture. For All" and will feature videos and other such content on all things marijuana. Of course he's working on starting a cannabis investing firm, Casa Verde Capital. And of course people are going to be interested in anything that Snoop has to say on weed, because, well, it's Snoop – the man whose most successful tour was called the 'Up In Smoke Tour'.
What they say: “There are so many people in the closet, and we are giving them an opportunity to come out of the closet and just admit they like to smoke. I’m a smoker, my name is Snoop Dogg, and I’m a stoner.”