Checking In On Celebrity Cannabis Projects

Now that well over 100 celebrity cannabis brands (comprising both THC/marijuana and CBD/hemp) have come on the market, a number of lifestyle, entertainment, cannabis-business, and other publications regularly publish lists of the top-selling and/or highest-quality celebrity brands available. A look at nearly two dozen of these lists that have been published recently yields a large and diverse sample size that—while by no means inclusive of every celebrity cannabis brand out there—gives some insights into celebrities’ strategies in this category:

  • Musicians are the celebrities most likely to be involved with a cannabis project, with more than half (53.5%) of all celebrity cannabis brands analyzed falling into this realm. Rappers account for 49.3% of all musicians involved (and 26.4% of the total), with musicians from all other genres accounting for the remaining 50.7% of musicians (and 27.1% of the total).
  • Aside from musicians, sports represents another active sector, with 22.5% of all celebrity deals analyzed tied to athletes across a variety of sports. Former basketball players are the most common and former National Football League players second, but many other sports are represented. The other major celebrity group involved consists of actors and comedians, accounting for 17.1% of celebrity cannabis deals studied, with comedic actors and comedians dominant. Celebrities outside of these major groups account for the remaining 6.9% of the sample. A few of the brands analyzed, 5.4%, are tied to celebrity estates.
  • Perhaps surprisingly given their greater level of controversy, marijuana buds and other THC-containing products (those that produce a high) account for the bulk of deals, with 64.8% of celebrities on the lists studied falling into this category. Rappers and musicians tend to go in this direction, but plenty of celebrities in the other sectors do as well. A quarter (25.0%) of the celebrities analyzed are involved in the CBD sector, while 10.2% are dipping their toes into both marijuana and CBD.
  • Of the cannabis initiatives considered in this analysis, 30.5% are marketed under a brand that is closely connected to the celebrities behind them, whether integrating their name or initials or one of their well-known songs, characters, or some other element clearly tied to them or their careers. More than half (50.4%), however, use names that are entirely separate from the celebrity. And 19.1% of the ventures studied retain the partner’s brand rather than utilizing a new brand name (celebrity-connected or not), mostly in cases where the celebrity’s involvement leans toward an endorsement or brand ambassadorship rather than a partnership or ownership/investment. Among the celebrities in the sample, 10.9% oversee multiple brands of cannabis.
  • Top brands in terms of quality and/or popularity—that is, the brands that hit the lists of top celebrity cannabis brands most often—include comedian Seth Rogan’s Houseplant; Snoop Dogg’s multiple brands, especially Leafs by Snoop; rapper Berner’s Cookies; actress Bella Thorne’s Forbidden Flowers; rapper Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush; comedian Tommy Chong’s Chong’s Choice; Jay Z’s Monogram; Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0; Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy; Martha Stewart CBD; and Kristen Bell’s Happy Dance.

The next issue of Raugust Communications’ monthly e-newletter, coming out tomorrow (Tuesday, October 18) will discuss some additional data from this analysis, with a focus on the business models used to produce celebrity cannabis brands and their purpose or mission (e.g., health, recreation, skincare, and the like).

The newsletter will also include a look at what might be ahead for the licensing business this holiday season, based on forecasts from a range of analysts. If you are not yet a subscriber, you can sign up for this free publication here.

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