Celebrities grow a booming cannabis market
The Future. Known names like Snoop Dog, Seth Rogen, and Bella Thorne are planting weed businesses just as public opinion and state governments turn to legalization. Though celebrity-backed businesses still only represent a small percentage of cannabis-product sales, federal legalization could inspire new consumers to seek out the brands that are run by people they’re already fans of and carry a pot-loving reputation.
Pot so hot
Thanks to a rash of states legalizing marijuana, celebrity investors are heating up the market in order to cash in on the buzz.
- Noted pot smokers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg launched Houseplant this summer, and it sold out of both the weed and weed-smoking accessories within hours of launch.
- Jay-Z dropped Monogram last December, and it advertises based on feelings like “chill and focus” “maximum bliss.”
- Bella Thorne opened Forbidden Flowers, which caters to women smokers, in partnership with Glass House Group.
- Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rebel Wilson have all invested in the cannabis-infused tonic Cann.
And of course, there’s Snoop Dog, who not only owns Leafs by Snoop, but runs Casa Verde Capital — a weed-focused investment fund that is worth over $200 million.
Snoop explained of the celebrity push: “If you’re smart enough, you get in, you know how to take your celebrity and create a real business for yourself. Especially the ones like myself, who have been an advocate and pushing for it, been going to jail for it, been standing up on top of it before it was cool, before it was fashionable.”
In the weeds
The numbers don’t lie: weed is a growing business.
- According to analytics firm BDSA, global cannabis sales reached $21.3 billion in 2020 — a 48% increase from 2019.
- $17.5 billion of that was from legal cannabis sales in the U.S. alone.
- Global sales are expected to hit $55.9 billion in 2026.
- And Gen-Z females are the fastest-growing demographic, with an adoption increase of 151%.
Most of those sales are from major cannabis corporations. Ryan Jennemann, CEO of L.A.-based THC Design, said that celebrity brands represent “a very, very, very small percentage of cannabis sales,” But as more first-time consumers look for a brand to trust, they may be looking for a recognizable name that they can trust.