Willie Nelson has been a long-time advocate for marijuana, and it only makes sense that he’d join other celebrities cashing in on (legal) cannabis culture. In the Spring of 2015 at the South by Southwest Music Fest, Willie Nelson publicly announced he’d soon be coming out with his own “premium cannabis lifestyle brand” that would carry the catching name of “Willie’s Reserve”.
Willie’s Reserve joined other celebrity-named strains such as Obama OG, Marley’s Collie, Khalifa Kush, and Chuck Norris Blue Dream. Willie’s Reserve, however, is much more than a celebrity-endorsed name behind a strain of marijuana. He says it is “an extension of (my) passion and appreciation for the many varieties and range of the plant’s qualities.” Nelson also said that his company is going to focus on social and environmental issues that “support the gradual end of marijuana prohibition across America.”
Willie’s Reserve: Bringing More Business to the Cannabis Boom
The market for legal marijuana is growing quickly, and investments in legal cannabis amongst famous celebs are skyrocketing. Willie’s definitely not alone in the business of legal marijuana. It’s no secret that rapper Snoop Dogg strongly supports marijuana; the well-known rapper has invested in a variety of different marijuana enterprises. Actor Seth Rogan, talk show host Montel Williams, singer Melissa Ethridge, and members of Bob Marley’s family are just a few celebrities that have also invested money in different cannabis-based businesses.
While Snoop reportedly plans to put some $25 million back into the industry, it seems that Nelson will be raising some of his own marijuana-fueled investment money. He is well aware that Willie’s Reserve will be a big part of the cannabis boom that is expected to continue to grow exponentially.
Tuatara Capital is running the investment group that is the financial backing toward the creation of Willie’s Reserve. Founded in 2014, Tuatara Capital is an investment manager that is adamant about helping high-growth companies looking to get involved in the legal cannabis industry. Chairman of Tuatara Capital, Mark Zittman, says, “There is so much innovation happening in the cannabis space, and we are excited about the future prospects of the industry. We see incredible potential to support the industry in its growth and evolution. It’s all happening at unprecedented speed.”
And there is undoubtedly truth in his words. According to cannabis industry research firm The Arc View Group, by 2019 this crop could be worth $19 billion in revenue. So whether opening a cannabis dispensary or operating a large-scale growing facility, this is good news for budding businesses and investment groups that are pioneering the industry.
Why Willie’s Reserve is More than Just Another Strain of Marijuana
According to Nelson, Willie’s Reserve won’t be just a strain of marijuana bearing his name. The business will also comprise stores that carry edibles and have “menus of products.” Nelson wants the whole image of Willie’s Reserve to reflect his passion. As a long-standing member of the National Organization for Marijuana Reform (NORML) his passion includes ending marijuana prohibition and bringing the issues surrounding prohibition to light.
So not only will capital made from Willie’s Reserve go to growing, marketing, and selling this product, but it will also be used to bring awareness to outdated marijuana laws and policies. He is also looking to take “big business” out of the legal weed game. Tired of the “war on weed,” Nelson has spoken openly on not only the billions of dollars spent by the government to stop the growing spread of legal marijuana but of big business looking to monopolize this growing business opportunity.
Turning Away from Big Business Bureaucracy
Nelson and his partners claim they look to be the “anti-Wal-Mart” of the legal marijuana business. “You have a lot of bureaucracy and bullshit,” Nelson says. “A lot of big corporations. So that’s what we’re up against. They’re trying to monopolize it all. That’s horseshit. That ain’t right, and we’ll do everything we can to keep that from happening.”
Those behind the famous singer’s new brand look to treat everyone they work with fairly. This means that, from the CEO to the small businesses that will have the opportunity to legally grow and distribute this much-anticipated strain, everyone will be treated justly.
Colorado and Washington will be the first states to sell (and grow) Willie’s Reserve. In these legal states, businesses will have the opportunity to grow and sell this strain that bears the famous singer’s name. These businesses will have to follow certain requirements and must grow the strain according to the company’s “quality standards.”
Business Standards Backed by Nelson’s Beliefs
And what exactly are these quality standards? Well, they stand in line with what Nelson himself believes in. Quality and consistency come first, and production of Willie’s Reserve will be right in line with this. From organic growing methods to environmental impact and established criteria for potency, Willie’s Reserve looks as if it’s going to be one of the best maintained products on the legal marijuana market.
Growers will be given access to a large network of internal support systems. Truly in line with the best interests of all parties involved, advice will also be given on how to set up and operate a legal cannabis business in states where marijuana is no longer prohibited. As soon as states aside from the big names like Colorado and Washington are able to get their hands in this booming business, you can bet they’ll be embracing Willie’s Reserve with open arms.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Nelson said that he “will make sure it’s good or it won’t be on sale.” He also believes “there should be a menu just like in a restaurant because there’s so many different kinds of pot that do so many different things.” Nelson also thinks that “it’s a good idea to have everything labeled for what it does, what it won’t do, and how powerful it is.”
There a lot of people waiting to see just that. How is this strain going to smoke? What will be the dominant flavors, and how heavy will users feel effects? According to Toby Keith, who pays tribute to the older country star in his song “I’ll Never Smoke Weed with Willie Again,” Nelson’s stash is “top shelf,” and he “could not wait to find out for himself.”
Toby Keith isn’t the only one who can’t wait to find out. There’s no doubt that, when Willie’s Reserve finally does hit stores, there will be many contemporary cannabis connoisseurs eagerly waiting to see just how Nelson’s strain stacks up to other celebrity-endorsed varieties of legal marijuana.
Willie’s Reserve is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated big-name brands of weed ever to come out. How do you think it will compare to others, and how do you feel about what Nelson is doing for legal cannabis culture? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.