Marley marijuana! What’s next, Lou Reed heroin?
BOB MARLEY has been pushing up daisies for 30 years now, yet it hasn’t stopped the forces of Babylon from cashing in on his name.
The Marley family has struck a deal with a New York-based private equity firm to flog “Marley Natural” cannabis.
I heard about the new brand on the sedate airwaves of Radio 4’s Today programme, where a marketing whippersnapper from Privateer Holdings, which owns Marley Natural, said: “We’ve been investing significant amounts in the cannabis market for years,” as if he were discussing electric cars rather than narcotics.
He assured listeners that “nobody on the face of the Earth is more associated with cannabis than Bob”, which is true, though I’d like to think Marley is still best known for making really quite good music.
Sure he smoked a lot of dope, but it seems rather a nerve to appropriate just one side of him to flog merchandise. Marley Natural won’t just be shifting “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strands”, but hemp-infused cream and lip balms too.
Marley’s daughter, Cedella, has endorsed the initiative with an enthusiasm that’s understandable for someone who stands to make a colossal wedge of cash: US legal marijuana sales are predicted to reach $2.3 billion (R25.3bn) next year.
“My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb,” she gushed, body swerving the word “drug”, and went on: “Marley Natural is an authentic way to honour his legacy by adding his voice to the conversation about cannabis and helping end the social harms caused by prohibition.”
I love this stuff about “healing” and “authenticity” and “legacy”. As for the “social harms” caused by banning drugs, would these be the equivalent of the harms done to my friends who developed severe mental problems from smoking cannabis?
Let me not get preachy. Let’s just consider who else’s “legacy” might usefully be merchandised in the future.
Lou Reed: “It’s what Lou would have wanted,” laughed Bradley T Hackensack, of Shark Enterprises Inc, “though we were too scared to approach him directly while he was alive. We think marketing Wild Side heroin, the finest opium-derivative money can buy, subtly but authentically cut with baking soda and French chalk, and packaged with top-quality syringes, is the best way to honour his legacy.”
Jim Morrison: “He lived too fast and died too young,” said Renata Glockenbush of Exploit’ Em All inc, “and it’s true that, in his latter days, his weight ballooned and he liked exposing himself on stage. But we feel giving fans a chance to buy the ‘People Are Strange’ flasher’s mac with replica plastic genitalia is an authentic way to connect them to nature as he liked to celebrate it.”
Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan: “Yes, he made some records and was a mainstream rapper with the Ku Klux Klan,” nodded DeForest L Deluca, chief executive of Sincere-Tribute Merchandising, “but of course he’s best known for assault, robbery, shoplifting, criminal threat, attempted murder, possessing firearms and addiction to crack cocaine. And he was always being shot at. We think fans will feel closer to their hero by purchasing this authentic, state-of-the-art ‘Spin On This, MoFo’ bullet-proof vest, accessorised with 20 vials of heirloom crack in the fob pocket. It’s a fitting tribute to a great guy.” – The Independent
POT OF MONEY: Bob Marley’s family and a Seattle-based private equity firm announced earlier this week that they were launching the first global cannabis brand with marijuana products sold under a name long tied to the herb.