One name goes with pot like peanut butter goes with jelly and a PB&J goes with—well, pot: Bob Marley.
The reggae superstar’s family and a Seattle-based private equity firm announced today the creation of “a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy” of Bob Marley, called Marley Natural. The brand will produce pot-infused creams, vaporizers, and strains of Marley’s own favorite “heirloom Jamaican cannabis” sold as “loose packed” buds, oils, or concentrates.
Marley Natural isn’t necessarily going for the brand experience of Rasta-colored tapestries hung on dorm room walls. Instead, it hired the same marketing firm that branded Starbucks and New Balance to help Marley Natural products appeal to a modern consumer market.
This isn’t the first venture the Marley family has taken using Bob’s name and likeness for branding purposes, but it is the first into actual marijuana. Some skeptics wonder if Marley himself would approve of the blatant capitalism driving this project. Rita Marley, Bob’s widow, responded.
“You can depend on Bob, too. He’s 100% behind what is happening. He’s happy because this is what we dreamed of,” she said, referring to the legalization of recreational marijuana. “It was unruly for them to call it weed or drugs. We saw it as a spiritual thing, given to us by God.”
The CEO of Privateer Holdings, which owns Marley Natural, Brendan Kennedy told NBC News, “This is what the end of prohibition looks like. Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We’re going to help him finish it.”
That’s all good and well, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize the cash cow a well put-together Marley brand can be in the ever-expanding marijuana market. Something tells me the guys over at Privateer Holdings have a little more in mind than "the healing of the nation."