These days it seems that every major and minor celebrity is getting into the weed game. From obvious candidates like Seth Rogen, Snoop Dogg, & Willie Nelson to less obvious choices like Miley Cyrus and Whoopi Goldberg – Celebrity Weed is here to stay!
The question is – is it good for the cause or just a fluttering cash grab?
Depending on where you stand within the legalization movement – your answer may vary. For example, if you subscribe to the idea that cannabis should be inexpensive and accessible to all – celebrity weed could be slightly detrimental to that notion.
Celebrities are notorious for being “out of touch” with the average citizen. For them, making weed brands that sell for $ 30-$ 50 a gram is commonplace. I mean, everyone can spend $ 300+ per ounce of weed right?
Most people – in fact up to 70% of the US- are struggling financially in some capacity according to this Forbes Article.
Are Celebrity Weed Making Weed too Expensive?
With new celebrities coming in and putting their names on cannabis products – we’re also seeing a markup on normal cannabis prices.
Let’s say a nameless – but good strain of cannabis – goes for $ 10 a gram. If you attach Mike Tyson’s name to it the value of the same gram elevates by at least 100%. Tyson has his own weed, but you get the picture.
Celebrities do not endorse products if they can’t make money off it. And understanding that celebrities are not your typical citizen – we also know that they pay more than the average person for good.
This influx of celebrity weed could have an impact on the perceived price point of cannabis.
“Everybody spends X dollars per gram!”
This would be an artificial assessment based on the price point set by celebrities. Any price point you enter into the market will affect the average cost per gram and that becomes the median for establishing your weed in a dispensary.
If every Celeb is charging premium prices – it will impact the median price of average weed too
Celebs do bring a lot of attention to weed though…
While it’s true that the more celebs get involved – the more it impacts the perceived price of cannabis, another thing is also true.
CELEBS GARNER ATTENTION!
Whenever a new celeb decides to get into the weed game, you’ll hear about it for weeks. Recently “Steve Urkel” will be endorsing Purple Urkel cannabis brands. The actor Jaleel White is the man behind Steve Urkel making this move.
As a result, the announcement was published in several media outlets and even got me writing about it right now. In a time when weed is on the verge of being legalized worldwide- perhaps some more attention isn’t bad.
Celebrities also typically invest into their enterprises and in some cases – like in the case of Jay Z, works on creating massive marketing campaigns to change the social narrative.
We can all agree that this is all good for the cause but we also need to be careful to not distort the whole narrative.
Cannabis legalization is not JUST about money!
One of the reasons why celebs are so interested in weed is because – MONEY! The vast majority of them were not public supporters of cannabis until it was “cool” to do so.
Now – many of them are simply leveraging their clout to turn it into more money. The problem with this approach is that it distorts the ultimate narrative about cannabis – freedom to choose!
Cannabis is not just a money crop – even though it’s a fantastic money crop!
Cannabis is not just a recreational substance – it’s also a medicine!
Cannabis is not just a plant – it’s also industry!
Cannabis is far more than just money and one of my personal fears is that when enough celebs have staked their claim in the weed market – it will give those who oppose cannabis the ammunition to say, “See – BIG MAIRJUANA!”
If you’re a Celeb wanting to get into weed – get into activism too!
I think Jay-Z was one of the best Celeb moves into the cannabis field. Not only did Jay-Z get into the cannabis game he also created a fund to help black people who were negatively affected by the War on Drugs to get into the game.
This is using his celebrity status to give those in need a leg up. If every celebrity getting into the cannabis game could do one of the following it would go a long way for helping right the wrongs of the past:
Dedicate a portion of their income to assisting those negatively affected by prohibition
Hire those with past drug convictions
Speak up against the ills of the drug war and advocating the abolishing of the CSA
Ensure that the prices are accessible for the 70% of US citizens that are financially struggling
I’m sure there are other things that they can do, but from the top of my head I think this is a solid approach.
Cannabis is about Community
If you’ve been smoking weed for as long as I have, you know that stoners make community. Perhaps it was because we all were sought after by the police for choosing to consume cannabis before it was “mainstream” – perhaps it was because we all loved cannabis so much.
Perhaps it’s because cannabis has been saving people’s lives for thousands of years and have been a pivotal medicine in the development of humankind.
Cannabis is not just about money and while I think overall the celebrity interest into cannabis is not bad – I do believe that if they want to capitalize on an industry that was forged on the liberties of those who dared to defy the government during their tyrannical spree – they need to give back as well.
However – if they don’t then it’s your job as a consumer and a cannabis activist to not buy their stuff – after all, they might only now be getting into weed – but some growers have been growing for decades.
I support local above celebrity any day! How about you?