Few individuals have had more of a prominent stature in marijuana culture than rapper Snoop Dogg. And to understand how far pop culture has come in demystifying pot, one has to look at the rapper’s career.
The Long Beach-bred Dogg took the music world by storm in 1993, teaming with mega-producer Dr. Dre on the smash hit rap album “Doggystyle,” which brought gangsta rap into the homes of millions of white kids. As his music career was skyrocketing, he capitalized on his charisma and appeared in feature films, including “Training Day,” “Baby Boy,” “Bones,” “Old School,” “Starsky & Hutch,” in which he stole the show from his more seasoned co-stars as Huggy Bear, and “Soul Plane,” a comedy centered on getting high on weed and in the sky.
He and domestic doyenne Martha Stewart are now readying a cooking show to debut in the fall on VH1.
Throughout his career, he’s publically embraced marijuana. His commitment to the herb coupled with his thriving decades-long career has gone a long way to helping Americans rethink what they know about the drug.
Indeed, financial experts predict that the legal marijuana market will be a $30 billion business by 2019, with five states voting in November on recreational use legalization laws, and other states mulling various forms of legalization legislation.
Snoop has taken his considerable passion for the herb to new levels, launching a capital venture fund, a new media portal, and his own line of cannabis products, called Leafs by Snoop.
“As a long-time connoisseur and cannabis expert, I knew it was time to give my people what they wanted — something they can trust,” Snoop says. “Enjoying Leafs is like smoking with me — the D-O-double G — and I’m proud to finally share what that experience is. All the flowers and extracts from Leafs were hand-picked by yours truly.”
Leafs by Snoop debuted in November 2015 and became an instant success. Targeting Colorado, where the sale of cannabis products for recreational use is legal, items from the line are available in more than 100 retail stores, including hand-weighed marijuana flowers, and buds, edibles, plus various concentrates.
|“Cannabis is the fastest-growing industry in the U.S., with billions of dollars already being legally spent in and around the space.”
Snoop has also partnered with the vaporizer company Grenco, with extremely successful results. “The original Snoop Dogg G Pen was and, still is, the top-selling portable vaporizer pen of all time,” says Chris Folkerts, founder & CEO of Grenco. “His name has helped solidify us as leaders in the space. Since the inception of the brand, we knew we had to get Snoop Dogg on board.
His name and brand transcend hip-hop, stretching into cannabis culture, tech, and mainstream media. He has become a global icon, and having him aligned with Grenco has brought us so much exposure and opportunity.”
In the digital space, Snoop has created his own media platform called Merry Jane, dedicated to the marijuana lifestyle. It is built with the purpose of raising and continuing the conversation around cannabis via original videos, photos, editorials, and interactive tools, becoming one of the fastest-growing lifestyle sites in the cannabis space.
“We started Merry Jane with an all-female design team, for two reasons,” says Ted Chung, co-founder of Merry Jane and Snoop Dogg’s longtime manager.
“Firstly, none of the existing outlets speak to a diverse audience. Secondly, female consumers are the largest growing segment in the legal industry. Cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the U.S., with billions of dollars already being legally spent in and around the space.”
Snoop is a key investor with venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital, which has gone on to fund some major marijuana start-up businesses including FunkSac and Eaze, while he’s also a firm supporter of California’s ballot initiative Proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use.
“California is home to some of the finest cannabis available, so it’s very important that we improve legalization here,” he says.
As Americans contemplate marijuana legalization, such entrepreneurs as Snoop Dogg are already ahead of the game, poised to make a profit. And they are bringing the weed lifestyle to TV: He is exec producer of the MTV pot-themed scripted series “Mary + Jane,” and is busy with “Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party” for VH1.
And with all his fan outreach on several platforms — he just finished The High Road tour with Wiz Khalifa in support of his latest release, “Coolaid” — he is doing just that.