The First Global Corporate Marijuana Brand Features Bob Marley
It was inevitable and with sweeping legal reforms creating massive momentum for the legalization of marijuana, it’s becoming a reality. A group of venture capitalist investors from Seattle have partnered with the Marley family to create the first global corporate brand of cannabis and they’re calling it Marley Natural.
Famed reggae musician and advocate for marijuana consumption, Bob Marley, pushed for legal reforms fifty years ago and now his children are carrying the message forward. The brand is getting its marketing face from the same agency that branded Starbucks Coffee and aims to change the way marijuana is perceived. While most marijuana brands continue to maintain the graffiti marker and bikini girl sales patterns of hip hop and pop reggae, Marley Natural intends to be packaged and presented more like single malt scotch. Is this the beginning of something completely new? The company’s president says “this is what the end of prohibition looks like.”
There are some concerns, of course, given the transitional nature of cannabis legality. With half a century of deceptive advertising from the cigarette industry and several decades of gangster culture surrounding pot, critics argue there is the potential for misinformation and seedy attempts to lure kids into the club. But since marijuana isn’t physically addictive like cigarettes, pot companies have no interest in “hooking them young.”
If marijuana is going to be taken seriously in this country and controlled like any other reasonable substance, it will certainly need a makeover. Bob Marley has stood for freedom, mind expansion, peace, and the abolition of corporate greed for a long time. Will his face on the brand give Marley Natural some legitimacy and push for legal reforms, or will it deface much of what the artist and activist worked to stand for during his life and career?
Only time will tell. In the meantime, look for the pot brand in legal jurisdictions mid 2015.