To many of his fans from around the globe, Bob Marley was much more than an average chart topping superstar. Marley's personalized brand of Reggae music and activism touched people's lives from all backgrounds and creeds, as he is still looked up to today as an iconic prophet of peace, justice, and understanding, especially in the marijuana community.
Since his death in 1981, Marley's legend has lived on in the minds and hearts of those who follow his philosophy, and now with the emergence of increased marijuana legalization, corporate America wants his image to headline the first global brand of marijuana.
In a recent report from NBC's TODAY, a Seattle-based equity firm by the name of Privateer, has teamed up with existing members of the Marley family to create Marley Natural
. Marley Natural will be a "premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy" of Bob Marley himself, and will carry a line of marijuana infused creams, accessories (such as vape pens
styled as e-cigs) and strains of “heirloom Jamaican cannabis.”
In comparison to other brands on the market, Marley Natural
will look and feel like other current consumer products in the marijuana industry and will be assisted in the marketing process by the same agency that helped develop Starbucks and Balance.
Skeptics are already beginning to squawk at the union between Marley's image and corporate America, doubting that the spiritually sensitive Rastafarian would have ever supported the "blunt" aspects of corporate capitalism. As a rebuttal, Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer, told NBC's Today that he's "committed to ending the social harms caused by prohibition,” as well as "committed to social change, environmental sustainability and building a professional, responsible and legal cannabis industry.”
If Marley Natural
goes retail in the four states that have legalized recreational marijuana or in the other 19 states that have legalized medical marijuana, Kennedy is expected to make an estimated $2.5 billion in sales this year alone. As more and more states continue to legalize this number will grow exponentially in the future, spelling success not only for Kennedy's corporate profits, but also for the Marley's who are allowing the late legend's remembrance to live on in the hearts and minds of the people that associate him with the newly developed brand.