You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong.

But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product to the test, including longtime activist and dispensary owner Dina Browner (aka Dr. Dina), whose Alternative Herbal Health Services was one of the first to open in West Hollywood and served as the model for Netflix’s “Disjointed”; YouTube star Thomas Araujo, better known as Dope as Yola to his hundreds of thousands of followers; and Kenny Morrison, a longtime cannabis activist with his own thriving edible business, the Venice Cookie Co., known as VCC Brands.

Browner, who runs three dispensaries, was arguably among the first to spark the celebrity strain craze when she named certain flavors of flower after her pals, including Snoop Dogg and the cast of “Sons of Anarchy” (SAMCRO OG).

Still, and somewhat ironically, celebrity brands have had a rough time getting into Los Angeles dispensaries. A well-publicized venture such as Nelson’s Willie’s Reserve is available in only a few retail locations, mostly outside the immediate L.A. area; Snoop Dogg’s Leafs by Snoop blend can be bought in Colorado and Canada, but not yet in California. Seth Rogen’s Houseplant is available in Canada, but not in the U.S.

It doesn’t help that “in the industry, there’s almost a stigma against a celebrity weed brand,” says Morrison. “Look at alcohol. When celebrities like George Clooney or P. Diddy own a tequila or vodka brand, they don’t put their names on it.”

“There’s a difference between craft growers and commercial cannabis, and the latter is what most often appears as a celebrity brand,” notes Browner. “When you think of the people frequenting dispensaries these days, it’s not the Willie Nelson crowd per se.”

Araujo contends that celebrity weed is aimed at “amateurs” who don’t know any better.

Could it be so? Has marketing won out over quality in the recreational marijuana wars? We endeavored to find out and gathered a group of cannabis connoisseurs to sample products by Tommy Chong, System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian, The Game, Jenny Lewis and Bob Marley.

More Biz

  • Los Angeles Times

    L.A. Times Reaches Agreement with Guild

    The L.A. Times has reached a tentative agreement with the union that represents the bulk of its non-management employees, the paper announced Wednesday. The agreement follows more than a year of negotiations. The 475 reporters, copy editors, photographers and other staff covered by the agreement must still vote for ratification. Assuming it is approved, it [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Trial Over Location Manager's Assault Suit Delayed to May

    Update: On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Holly Fujie ordered the trial postponed. A new trial date was set for May 11, 2020. Johnny Depp is expected to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom next week for a trial on a lawsuit alleging that he punched a location manager during the 2017 shoot for “City of Lies.” [...]

  • Stranger Things Season 3

    Netflix Undershoots U.S. Subscriber Adds for Q3, Beats Profit Forecast

    Netflix fell slightly short of its U.S. subscriber forecast in the third quarter — and projected lower Q4 subscriber growth than Wall Street was expecting as competition looms from Apple and Disney. Still, the company reported solid gains, announcing a Q3 record for paid subscriber additions and revenue, and handily topped analyst forecasts for profit. [...]

  • Despacito Luis Fonsi Daddy Yankee

    'Despacito' Tops Vevo's Most-Watched Videos of the Past Decade Chart

    In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Vevo today announced its Top 10 lists of the decade’s most-watched music videos. Not surprisingly, the Most-Watched Music Video accolade goes to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee), with 6.4 billion views since its release in early 2017. The second most-viewed video is Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (featuring Bruno [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Accused of Contract Breach by Oasis Ventures

    Oasis Ventures Entertainment, a Dubai-based investment fund, sued MoviePass on Monday, alleging that the loyalty-card company stole film titles to create its film unit. Oasis has had a joint venture with action movie producers Randall Emmett and George Furla since 2013. In 2018, Emmett Furla Oasis went into business with Helios and Matheson Analytics, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content