Legalization has become a cause célèbre, backed by countless actors, athletes, and more. But more celebrities are also getting into the nitty-gritty of the cannabis business itself as producers, industry consultants and dispensary owners.
The new business ventures are just another outlet for their creativity. Take #1 on our list, director Kevin Smith, for example: "In the last…7 years, I've been more productive than I was the first 15 years of my career," he said in an interview last year. "And that's because I love smoking so much. So every time I was smoking I was like, 'I better do something creative,' so it makes more output."
1. Kevin Smith
Big surprise: the man who brought the world Jay and Silent Bob and Mallrats has an appreciation for cannabis. A lucky few who visited the medical dispensary Buds & Roses in L.A. were able to grab two Kevin Smith-inspired strains as part of a promotional tie-in with Smith's 2014 horror flick, Tusk. Mr. Tusk, an indica, and White Walrus, a sativa, were packaged in spooky black-and-white canisters featuring the film's toothy protagonist. You get the sense that Smith himself sampled the goods, at some point.
2. Montel Williams
The former talk show host has been an outspoken medical marijuana advocate since his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in the late '90s. In 2011, he was engaged as a consultant to the upscale Sacramento dispensary Abatin Wellness Cooperative. Announcing the partnership during a news conference, he said: "We want to provide safe access [to marijuana] for patients and really medicalize this. Patients should be put first." Montel said he would be "involved at every level of the cooperative, from the philosophical direction down to the blueprints."
3. Willie Nelson
Although Willie's been a proponent of legalization for longer than some of us have been alive, the country music superstar's marijuana company, Willie's Reserve, just launched in 2015. Stores are scheduled to open in 2016, with a feel-good atmosphere and down-home touches Nelson has compared to Whole Foods (only for cannabis.)
4. Ross Rebagliati
The world sure has changed since 1991, when Ross Rebagliati won gold in snowboarding at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, only to be disqualified after people found out he'd smoked pot. But there's a happy ending: not only was the decision overturned and Rebagliati given back the medal, but nowadays, Ross has gotten into the industry at the helm of Ross Gold, his medical cannabis company. Rebagliati is also a spokesperson for the benefits of medical cannabis in sports training, injuries, pain management and stress.
5. Bethenny Frankel
We weren't aware that marijuana needed a diet-friendly makeover; however, according to Us Weekly, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel is launching a line of Skinnygirl marijuana in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. An "insider close to Frankel" told the celebrity gossip mag that Frankel's new strain will be "specially engineered" to not give you the munchies. Intriguing concept, but as the recently-debunked rumours about Rihanna's marijuana line proved, only time will tell whether you'll see Skinnygirl cannabis next to the THC-infused quinoa salad at your local dispensary.