23 Celebrities in the Cannabiz
After years of using cannabis to manage his pain, Iron Mike is now managing his own cannabis empire. His company, Tyson Holistic Holdings, includes hemp-infused products and Tyson Ranch, a 420-acre property in Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs that will include luxury glamping, a cannabis University, a holistic resort, two stadiums, a wave pool, and "the world's longest lazy river."
“After retirement, I had two surgeries and they gave me obituates. They would wear me out and have me thinking crazy. I started smoking marijuana and getting better effects. It was just what I needed, and I never knew it.”
The NFL Hall of Famer and one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game is among the growing number of athletes getting in on the marijuana boom. His venture capital firm, Liquid 2 Ventures, was a part of a group that invested $4.1 million into the cannabis-focused media outlet Herb.
“Legalization is picking up steam on a global level, and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant. As with any medicine, increased accessibility comes with the need for education. Cannabis eased my pain. It also put me in a state of healing and relief.”
Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong
Cheech Marin and partner Tommy Chong blazed the trail for stoner comedy in the early ’70s with wildly popular albums, movies, and live performances. (If you’re not familiar with their “Dave’s Not Here” skit, please listen immediately.) Now Marin, a longtime advocate, sells his own brand of cannabis, Cheech’s Private Stash, with four unique strains personally selected by the ganja guru.
“I have been a longtime believer in the magical benefits of marijuana -- and am thrilled that more people can now benefit by using what nature has bestowed upon us," Marin has said. "Cannabis is here to stay, and the ball is rolling down the hill; there’s no stopping it now!”
Like his longtime partner, Chong has parlayed his status as a marijuana pioneer into launching a curated line of cannabis products, offering an array of flowers, pre-rolls, oil cartridges, and THC strips. As one of the first celebrity-endorsed brands to market, Chong’s Choice is a dominant player in the space.
“I was a terrible businessman all my life, and I’m not much better with Chong’s Choice, either, because my aim was never to make a lot of money," he said. "My aim was to be high as much as I could and do things I really loved doing. Whatever you’re doing, you gotta love it to the point where money becomes a side issue.”
More than five years ago, while he was running for prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau said legalizing weed was “one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids, because the current war on drugs, the current model is not working.” He landed the PM job, and this year Canada became the first G7 country to legalize adult-use marijuana. The system may not be perfect, and there will be lots of kinks to work out, but Trudeau deserves props for doing what few politicians do -- staying true to his word.
“Profits out of the hands of criminals. Protection for our kids. Today #cannabis is legalized and regulated across Canada.”
Add one more item to the comedian/actress/talk-show host’s impressive résumé: cannabis entrepreneur. Created in conjunction with 10-time High Times Cannabis Cup winner Maya Elisabeth, Whoopi & Maya’s female-focused products are designed specifically for relief from menstrual discomfort.
“It’s not so much the laws that have to change but the attitudes. When you think of penicillin and all the things we discovered penicillin could take care of, I feel that’s what marijuana is.”
A longtime advocate for decriminalization, the Academy Award–winning actress -- who’s starred in acclaimed films including Bull Durham, Thelma & Louise, and Dead Man Walking -- sees many advantages to the legalization of cannabis.
“I’m a huge believer that if more people smoked -- not just for medicinal purposes, but for lifestyle purposes, instead of drinking -- the world would be a better place. It’s absurd that more states haven’t legalized it.”
While marijuana has been a subject of his comedy since he started performing as a teen, Chappelle recently endorsed Maryland gubernatorial candidate (and old friend) Ben Jealous, a legalization proponent. Makes sense for the guy who wrote and starred in the pothead favorite Half Baked.
“I look at the legalization of marijuana as an inevitability nationally, not just in Maryland.”
He might have played old-school manly man Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, but Offerman’s views on marijuana legalization are quite progressive. The mustachioed maverick has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s pot policy.
“Sweet, sweet lady: Marijuana is quite possibly the finest of intoxicants. It has been scientifically proven, for decades, to be much less harmful to the body than alcohol when used on a regular basis. (Google ‘Science.’) … People are constantly committing crimes while under the influence of, or looking for funding for, every other intoxicant besides marijuana. I am a supersweet teddy bear, but when I drink tequila, I want to knife somebody … When I smoke pot, I want to look at nature and laugh about everything and eat some delicious things and then sleep.”
Turns out marijuana might have saved the self-proclaimed “pothead” and weed-comedy director’s life. Earlier this year Smith suffered a major heart attack, and the ER doctor told him that being high helped him remain calm during the emergency. No wonder he’s currently crowdsourcing a dispensary-set web series called Hollyweed.
“I’m a massive stoner, but one of the most productive. Because I made a deal with myself when I started smoking weed around age 38: If I just start smoking weed and crashing in front of the TV, then I uphold the stereotype … If you’re gonna smoke, you have to be doing something productive or creative. So light up all you want, but when you do, make sure you’re recording a podcast, writing a movie, doing a TV show. For the last few years, my productivity has gone through the roof.”
The Starship captain/X-Men leader, who suffers from severe arthritis, recently became a patron of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, which invests in research for pain and inflammation therapies.
“This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear, and ignorance. I believe this program of research might result in benefits for people like myself as well as millions of others.”
The Academy Award–winning actress launched Goop back in 2008, but it wasn’t until this year that her clean-living lifestyle company got into the cannabis game. As part of its collaboration with dispensary chain MedMen, Goop put its stamp of approval on products including a vape pen, a CBD patch, a bath bomb, and marijuana-infused herbal tea.
“With all the legalization of marijuana happening, there’s evidence that it can be helpful in a medicinal sense for people. That it can really be an alternative pain management system and, in some cases, helpful for depression. It’s incredible to see people who can’t sleep, or have chronic pain, report really positive results, and it’s a natural substance.”
Having starred in stoner films Pineapple Express and This Is the End, Rogen has long been beloved by the pot-smoking masses. He’s also a vocal advocate of legalization.
“I think there’s been some movement in the wrong direction when it comes to federal legalization. Some people still believe all the propaganda that was put out there to control people who were smoking weed, who at that time were largely minority people. It’s all fake.”
Wasting away again in…Marijuana-ville? The laid-back legend is partnering with Wrigley gum heir William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. in a cannabis startup, licensing his Coral Reefer band’s name and brand to medical marijuana giant Suterra.
“I have followed and studied with keen intensity the recent evolvement of the medical marijuana story and the path toward the simple conclusion that cannabis is good medicine and should be made available to all who need it.”
The Doggfather, a.k.a. Calvin Broadus, has long been tied to almost every aspect of the cannabis lifestyle. Besides building a chronic-focused music career and having his own line of marijuana products, he is the cofounder of venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital, which specializes in the ancillary side of the marijuana business. Fo shizzle!
“Anytime you have a couple of people smoking, they’re never hostile or angry. The area that we’re in now, I’m thankful that they’re trying to make it legalized, because with alcohol and tobacco, you see all the tragedies that have happened with that. I’m glad we can see something different. As far as me being on the forefront, for a long time I was on the wrong side, and now I’m on the right side.”
The country music icon has been a friend of the leaf for well over half a century, and it’s almost a rite of passage to have smoked with him. (His ability to consume is legendary.) Pretty much a living meme of marijuana use, Nelson wisely entered the business in 2015 with a line of personally tested buds, Willie’s Reserve.
“I’ve bought a lot of pot in my life, and now I’m selling it back.”
Part of the first family of weed thanks to his father, the legendary Bob Marley, the reggae musician has wisely capitalized on his name with Ocean Grown Extracts. Specializing in cannabis concentrates, the San Fernando Valley–based operation has been in business since way back in 2011.
“Herb had been a big part of my life from day one, so it was an obvious decision. To represent the original people that were involved in it is important. Now that it’s become legal, there are a lot of corporations, businesses, and investors who have nothing to do with the herb but want to get involved purely because it looks like a promising market. I wanted to ensure that the people who have sacrificed over the years, the people who have gone to jail for selling herb to feed their families, are represented.”
The outspoken Kiss front man holds the lofty title of “chief evangelist officer” at Invictus, a Canada–based medical cannabis firm. While he has (loudly) preached against drug use throughout his career, the savvy businessman had a change of heart when it comes to marijuana use.
“I was wrong, and I was not informed. Well, drug abuse, you don’t have to be a genius [to know it’s wrong], and alcohol abuse, everybody knows that’s wrong, but I’ve been dismissive of cannabis. And I didn’t know much about it. I have to man up and admit that in the past, I dismissed lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance. About three years ago, when I did my own research, I found out astonishingly new information that doctors and researchers were talking about with regard to cannabis.”
Jobs’ use of LSD is widely known -- he called it “one of the most important things in my life” -- but the late Apple cofounder also smoked plenty of marijuana to inspire creativity.
According to an interview conducted by the Department of Defense, later obtained by Wired magazine, Jobs was a somewhat regular user of marijuana back in the ’70s. In the interview, Jobs stated:
“The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.”
When the founder of Virgin Group speaks, people tend to listen. And while he hasn’t put his own capital into cannabis quite yet, he’s a staunch proponent of legalization.
“What the U.S. doesn’t need is another front line in the war on drugs. Decriminalization, regulation, and harm reduction are the way to go. Everything else will cost lives and money.”
While the lifestyle guru and living brand doesn’t openly partake herself, Stewart is extremely open-minded when it comes to marijuana consumption. That much is obvious when you witness the chemistry between her and her cohost on VH1’s Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.
“So someone smokes marijuana? Big deal! People smoke cigarettes and die from cancer. I haven’t heard of anybody dying from cannabis. I’m quite egalitarian and liberal when it comes to stuff like that.”
A former professional poker player and current self-proclaimed “King of Instagram,” the highly controversial Bilzerian is known for splashing wild shots of guns, supercars, and scantily clad women all over social media. Always on the move, he recently founded Green Axis, an investment firm he hopes will soon be synonymous with cannabis entrepreneurship.
“I think it’s just a good time to come in and establish a brand and give people a brand they can kind of rely on. I want to be the fucking Coca-Cola of the fucking weed industry.”
The entrepreneur, who built his career on streetwear and as a judge on Shark Tank, thinks there’s lots of money to be made in the burgeoning cannabis industry.
“You want to be in the cannabis business? You don’t have to sell weed! There are a lot of people in it now who may not know how to do bookkeeping or shipping or financing or packaging. There are so many ways you can be very close to the cannabis industry. It all depends on your finding an opening and educating yourself.”