“Excuse me while I light my spliff, good God I gotta take a lift,” sings Bob Marley on his 1978 song Easy Skanking from the album Kaya — a word slang for marijuana.
Today, Bob’s spliff could be legally smoked in several U.S. states and it may have the premium brand of the late reggae icon.
February 6th would have been Bob Marley’s 71st birthday, and the date of the launch of Marley Natural, the line of cannabis strains from the world’s most familiar reggae artist.
“If my father was here physically, he would be up front advocating for this plant, so we are very proud to put our Marley Natural brand out there,” Stephen Marley, the second-oldest son of Bob Marley, tells Billboard magazine.
Stephen Marley will be jamming at the Bob Marley Birthday Celebration/Marley Natural launch party, scheduled for Feb. 6 at a private Hollywood residence.
Marley Natural will be offered in four strains, each with a hue adapted from the colors of the Ethiopian flag; Marley Green, a hybrid and suggested for novice herb users; Marley Gold; Marley Red; and the THC-concentrated Marley Black, recommended for ganja connoisseurs.
The brand will be available at three medical marijuana dispensaries in the L.A. area. Dispensaries across California, where recreational marijuana is not yet legalized, will carry Marley Natural cannabis in the coming weeks. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, where recreational pot use is legal, are next. Then in Nevada, where medical marijuana is legal and recreational usage carries reduced penalties for possession and distribution compared to other U.S. states.
How about enjoying some Marley Natural in your bong here in Victoria?
Targeted expansions into Canada is a possibility for 2017 if Ottawa works through regulatory laws.
But some in Jamaica aren’t happy about Marley Natural. Funding comes from Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm that invests in marijuana businesses. Privateer has secured a 30-year licensing deal with the Marley family to develop weed strains and hemp-based products.
Read here how critics (including Marley’s ex-bandmate Bunny Wailer) say the product won’t directly benefit Jamaicans.
According to Forbes, Bob Marley (and his estate) was the 4th highest grossing dead celebrity of 2015, making $21 million last year.