Willie Nelson to launch chain of cannabis shops

The business venture is 'a culmination of Willie’s vision and his whole life'

Country legend Willie Nelson is set to open a chain of marijuana stores in the US.

Nelson, 81, will launch his Willie’s Reserve brand of cannabis with a number of shops located in US states where the drug has been legalised.

Marijuana lobbyist and Nelson’s business partner, Michael Bowman, recently spoke to The Daily Beast about the venture.

Bowman said: “Willie has spent a lifetime in support of cannabis, both the industrial hemp side and the marijuana side. He wants it to be something that’s reflective of his passion. Ultimately, it’s his. But it was developed by his family, and their focus on environmental and social issues, and in particular this crazy war on drugs, and trying to be a bright light amongst this trail as we’re trying to extract ourselves from the goo of prohibition. Really he wants it, at the end of the day, to envelop what his personal morals and convictions are. So from the store itself to how they’ll work with suppliers and how things are operated, it’s going to be very reflective of Willie’s life.”

He added: “Right now, we’ll focus on the states where legalisation has occurred, and as new states open up, those opportunities will present themselves on a state-by-state basis. Or until the feds do something!”

Speaking about how the two met, Bowman continued: “Annie (Willie’s wife) and I were founding members of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance back in 2005. We got to know each other through that. I was working in (Washington) DC on a number of renewable energy and sustainability issues. Then, I presently became introduced to Willie, and had the honour of being able to spend a lot of time around him… This is a culmination of Willie’s vision, and his whole life. I’m not sure any of us could have predicted how fast the dominoes would start falling once they started falling (as far as legalisation). And you have the men like Willie who’s been out there getting arrested, standing up saying what’s right, and not wavering from that core.”

Meanwhile, Neil Young is to make a new album with Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson. The singer-songwriter revealed he’s currently working on the album and suggested possible title ‘The Monsanto Years’.

“I’m working on another album now that I’m going to be doing with Willie Nelson’s sons”, Young said. “It’s an upbeat review of the situation.” Monsanto is the agriculture company Young has been publicly battling for years. The singer boycotted Starbucks last year over the coffee company’s involvement with Monsanto in a lawsuit against the state of Vermont’s new requirements to label genetically modified ingredients.
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