Bob Marley and weed have virtually been synonymous for ages now. To cement this link, Privateer Holdings – a private equity firm – and the estate of the legendary reggae musician are launching a global marijuana brand "Marley Natural", which is going to be the first-ever legal cannabis company.
Marley Natural is a cannabis brand dedicated to Bob Marley's beliefs of social justice, love and respect and his faith in the healing powers of "the herb".
"Marley Natural is the world's first global cannabis brand. Our mission is to champion Bob's voice and his insight to help people realise the positive potential of cannabis for the mind, body, and spirit. Along the way, we want to help undo the suffering and injustice of cannabis prohibition around the world," the brand's official website states.
"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction."- Bob Marley
Marley Natural will be offering heirloom cannabis strains, including some of Bob Marley's Jamaican favourites. But that's not all. Balms and lotions infused with "the herb" will also be marketed. Limited edition accessories and handcrafted products mainly used to consume and store weed will be offered.
"Marley Natural is committed to cultivating and crafting every product we will offer* with respect for nature, responsibility, and compassion," the website states.
The products will start shipping from 2015 onwards and will be available only in regions where cannabis is permitted by jurisdictions. For now, Marley Naturals products are intended to be distributed across the US, but would start shipping worldwide later.
Bob Marley's family said they were collaborating with Privateer Holdings in this venture because the company understood and respected Marley's legacy. The "Could You Be Loved" hitmaker was an ardent supporter of cannabis usage and has promoted its legalisation.
Privateer Holdings and Bob Markey's estate have signed a 30-year licensing deal. A range of headphones and audio devices as well as coffee products are on the anvil too.
"Marley Natural is a partnership between two cannabis pioneers," Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings said in a statement.
"The Marley family has been an admired voice in the cannabis movement for over 50 years and Privateer Holdings is the leader in building professional, mainstream cannabis brands. We've learned a lot over the past year about Bob's views towards cannabis and how he viewed the herb differently. We are honoured to work with the Marley family to bring his voice to a professional, authentic and modern brand that will be a defining first in the cannabis industry," Kennedy added.
Currently, weed has been legalised in the US states of Colorado and Washington for recreational purposes. Some others have permitted prescribed medical usage of the herb. But the global market is still tight on regulations regarding cannabis. Won't this hamper growth of the company?
Zach Hutson, a company spokesperson told The World Today that the market for Cannabis is huge.
"The UN estimates the global cannabis market, both illicit and the legal market, at about $150 billion. We think it could be a little bit higher than that. In the US, we see it as a $40 to $50 billion total opportunity."