Leo Bridgewater believes that the legal cannabis business is the new civil rights movement, set up for only a select few to benefit substantially from. It is political also.
Billions are being made by people plugged-in enough to have access to the inner workings of this new business (usually white men), and the people who were locked up and away are essentially locked out.
Yes, the street hustler — who made weed sexy — usually can’t capitalize on the legal enterprise that clearly they have been excellent at developing the market for.
But Hip-Hop, rappers, athletes and those in close proximity to them behind the scenes, have moved to tap into the industry in competitive ways.
Five Rappers or Influencers that have made their mark are these titans:
Snoop Dogg, Casa Verde Capital
Snoop Dogg needs no introduction. The West Coast vet birthed out of the marriage of Dr. Dre and Death Row records have a weed empire that its marketing roots folded into his rap catalog, lifestyle, and legacy. Thusly, he created his Casa Verde venture capital firm to focus exclusively on making money and creating culture from and out of the cannabis industry.
Operating both domestically and internationally, they focus on evolving the markets. As these markets mature, they are compelled by their mission statement to invest. Their investments are scalable and don’t focus on the quick high but sustainable business models that will last after people stop smoking one kind of icky sticky.
His company’s portfolio sounds way more exclusive than the titles of his rap albums: THAT’S BECAUSE AS A BUSINESSMAN SNOOP GETS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED.
Metrc – Trace and track system, Greentank – Vaporizer hardware for oils, Cannalysis – A tech-forward analysis laboratory, Eaze – eCommerce and delivery service, Indose – Precise dosage technology, Bespoke Financials – Financial services, Merry Jane – Media platform, Trellis — Inventory management software, VANGST Talent Network – Leading employment resource for the industry, Dutchie – On-demand cannabis delivery platform, Oxford Cabbabinoid Technologies – Biopharmaceutical company, Greenbits — Point-of-sale solutions, Leaflink – B2B marketplace connecting brands and dispensaries, Miss Grass – Lifestyle and eCommerce platform, and Cargocast – Logistics and cargo.
These are but a few of his business offerings. Didn’t even get into his partnership with the Israeli Seedo, Leafly or Leafs by Snoop.
Mario Guzman, SHERBINSKI
The epitome of the American dream, Guzman is a Mexican-Irish American who is just as influential in Hip-Hop’s industrialization of cannabis as Dr. Dre and Snoop are to its commercialization. Considered the “Louis Vuitton of Cannabis,” he used his gifts like a real estate businessman and his love for the flower, to become the power force behind the most named-checked cannabis strand in Hip-Hop history, Sherbinskis (Gelato and Sunset Sherbet).
Artists like Future, G-Eazy, Migos, Post Malone, E-40, Gunna, Mozzy, Dave East, Jay Critch, Lil Pump, Kodak Black and so many more keep his strands on their lips and in their songs. Mad rappers like Supreme Patty, Mally Bandz & RicoBaby, Tyler, The Creator, have simply named their songs “Gelato,” while Young Dolph took it a step further, naming his entire album after the strand. His other strand, Sunset Sherbet gets play too. Rich The Kid’s “Cookies and Sherbert” is a classic get high vibe. Brooklyn Vegan actually claims that Little Simz’ album GREY Area was the rap album of 2019, and an album cut that probably will never get day radio play is the break-up song “Sherbert Sunset” named after the colorful flower.
His sleek palm-leaf looking orange and green packaging elevates his brand: Opening doors for him to make it into Barney’s in Beverly Hill and his open brick and mortar in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles.
Jim Jones, SAUCEY
In celebration of the 1st anniversary of Jim Jones’ smoke brand, Saucey Farms, and Extract, Jones hosted a 4/20 party on Zoom. Celebrities like Kevin Hart, Jada Kiss, Fabolous, and more lent their influence to one puff down on premium La but also raise money for the homeless impacted by COVID-19. And that could really be what Saucey is.
Saucey is the heart and soul of Jones’ hustle. It is the testament that a dude from the streets can take what he learned from the streets and make it matter in the board room.
This upscale, organically-grown and luxurious, the extracts are patented to create a full-spectrum of oils from cannabis plants grown on their farm.
According to the Cannabis Investor, “the company’s proprietary methods keep the terpenes intact allowing its customers to experience the entourage effect only a true full-spectrum product can produce. Most importantly, Saucey does not use distillate in its products nor does the company add terpenes back in or utilize any cutting agents. The recent black market vape crisis has been partly blamed on the use of cutting agents such as vitamin E acetate.” But apart from the technology, the packaging is sexy. The product looks good and according to what folk are saying — it tastes just as good.
Sold only in Oregon and California, it has allowed Jones to access that small aforementioned sector not open to former street hustlers.
The Happy Munkey Social Club and Lifestyle Brand
Happy Munkey proudly is the cannabis nexus of corporate and culture. It Is basically the Branson’s for a new generation who want to create fellowship, and not just get high.
Instead of California and surfboards, the brand takes their followers from the suites to the streets of NYC and beyond. Not just 4/20, but all month, they continue to celebrate New York’s cannabis culture by superseding all other lifestyle and hospitality brands with experiences tailored to each and every weed enthusiast in the Tri-State area. This historic month, in particular, the company highlights its media arm through events, podcasts, video content, written content, and interactive social media contest and exclusives.
Every day the company will release programming on their various platforms including YouTube.com, WeedTube.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat and also via their podcast on Spotify. Go to their website for the listing: www.HappyMunkey.com
Their lounge provides a safe space for people to enjoy the company of each other while sharing their love of the plant. The onliest thing…. No one knows where it is located, if it is stationary, or if this hypnotic haven actually exists and if it does… who is telling?
T-Top, Heez and Goodz, HAYMAKERS CANNABIS
No element of Hip-Hop is more like boxing than battle rap. And when a battler throws a haymaker, they are sure to set the stage on fire. The burn it down. And so Haymaker was the perfect name for this flower trilogy: Draco 10, NYC Runtz and Dosi Do.
Like Jones, these three come from a hustler’s pedigree, knowing how to flip and make something out of nothing. They know how to move the crowd, wet the community’s appetite and moreover identify winning products. That’s there hope with the recently launched Haymaker Cannabis trilogy.
The first offering is Draco 10. It is a hybrid plant with a sour taste, fluffy flower, and light bud. It is the most recommended and requested in their catalog and is identifiable by its lime green and white color. So excited about this stain, that the released a song and video called “Draco 10” to celebrate its arrival on T-Top’s Parklyfe label.
However, not to be undone, partners Goodz and Heez also released something fire to promote their brand called, “KUDOS.”
Another option they have is the NYC Runtz. Like the Draco, it too is a hybrid, but this one has a sweeter taste and it is purple. Last but not least is the Dosi Do. Dosi is an indica, and has a sour taste and is packed with flavor. The flavor comes from the same energy behind its name. In square dancing, a “do-si-do” allows the mixing up of dance partners. In this smoke, you have the mixing up of different seeds, creating plants the grow intertwined. Green, orange and purple, it is as pleasing to look at as it is to enjoy. These are only available in select California mobile dispensaries, but the song is available everywhere.