Exclusive Interview: Rock Legend Carlos Santana On His New Cannabis and CBD Line
"I want to create a brand that helps people heal from fear," he says.
Oy Coma Va. Santana is getting into the weed business. The 10-time Grammy-winning rock icon announced recently that he is entering a partnership with Left Coast Ventures to develop premium cannabis and CBD lines. The (yet unnamed) cannabis brand is expected to strum into the market this summer in the form of flower and pre-rolls. The hemp CBD brand will launch in the fall and will include topicals with formulations inspired by his own family recipes. The 72-year-old guitarist has been a long-time advocate of the plant, calling it "a gift from heaven to human consciousness." Far from your typical entrepreneur, Santana took a few minutes to share his wisdom with us. What a trip!
Why are you getting into the business?
SANTANA: Our trajectory and focus is to help people be more creative, give more clarity, certainty, vision, and extend your imagination muscle. I think we used to call it in the ’60s, “tripping.” But tripping for me was always a positive thing because I was tripping onstage with Eric Clapton or B.B. King. So tripping wasn’t bad for me.
How does cannabis make you more creative?
You reach a point where – for you, being a writer, you write your best – they call it automatic writing or writing down the bones, creative automatic writing. For a musician, when you play your absolute best solo, best music, after you did it, you don’t remember what you did.
Michael Jordan called it the zone, when the hoop became so big you couldn’t possibly miss. Well, there are many ways to get there, either through meditation for hours and hours and the quality of intentionality, or – the thing that I want to crystallize and make clear is that for me, cannabis is medicine.
You’ve been smoking cannabis for a while. Did you discover it as a kid?
Pretty much, yeah. My mom utilized marijuana. She would grab a chunk of it, put it in a jar with alcohol, and let it sit there for hours, and then when she’d pull it out she was able to rub it into her knees or her hands and her joints where she’d have arthritis or some kind of paralyzing hurtful thing, and that thing healed. So it’s always been medicine to me. It’s never been a drug. Drugs, humans make in a laboratory. Medicine, Mother Nature makes through a beam of light into plants. American Indians, Mexican Indians, shamans, were doing this thing before Christopher Columbus arrived.
Did you ever dream that cannabis would be legal like it is?
Yes, I did dream of that. I made my heart open and my mind open to believe that around the corner, there’s some things we will be doing with consciousness that maybe eventually we won’t even need Apple phones. We can actually communicate like the aborigines do with telepathy. Nothing’s impossible when it comes to meditation.
What is your role as an entrepreneur in this company?
To co-join with them [his partner Left Coast] and the stems, the molecules, learning how to create something that doesn’t make you paranoid or fearful, but it makes you stimulated, with delicious, delight imagination. It really comes down to integrity. Fear is the only disease in this planet that we have. Worse than cancer. Fear.
Have you talked to other maybe musician entrepreneurs, people like Willie Nelson, who have been in the business now for a little while?
No, the only three people that I know associated right now are the Bob Marley family and Mickey Hart and myself.I usually don’t talk with about numbers. We only talk about the possibilities of staying forever young, like Bob Dylan says.
Are you involved in thinking up the design for the packaging?
I’m very grateful that I’m invited to participate in the frequency of colors and symmetry. It’s inviting people to believe that something can help you reach a state of grace, which is where all creativity comes from.
Your first two products are flower and pre-rolls. Why?
Right now the main objective for me is to expand consciousness and help people be healed from the infection of fear. I want people not to be fussy or be nonfunctional. I invite people to be even more clear and more with zest to believe that your energy can be utilized in this planet for the highest good of all people. Thank you so much.