The Tragically Hip are now Canada's newest cannabis entrepreneurs. Earlier today, the band announced that they are partnering with the licensed medical marijuana producer Newstrike - a Toronto-based subsidiary of Hemisphere Pharmaceuticals.

The band announced the collaboration on their website in a letter to fans.

"We are happy to announce that we have become partners with one of Canada’s newest, soon to be public, licensed producers of medicinal marijuana. The company is called Newstrike and, after much discussion and assessment on our part, we’ve decided that this company – and the many creative people in it – are a perfect fit for The Hip," they wrote.

The 'Courage' rockers also spoke out against cannabis prohibition and praised the Canadian government for moving toward legalizing recreational use.

"There is a commitment from the Federal Government to legalize recreational use in just over a year, and with good reason," the band wrote. "The harm wrought by the prohibition of marijuana has been thoroughly researched and documented."

But their contribution to Newstrike - beyond publicity - isn't clear just yet. In the press release, they said they would be "contributing creatively" to the company, but they didn't say how exactly. Perhaps we'll see some Hip strains hit the market soon - like Bobcaygeon OGFifty Mission Kush and Ahead by a Century Haze.

Newstrike CEO Jay Wilgar offered a few more details on the collaboration though. In a press release, Wilgar said that the band would help them develop Newstrike's brand. And he hinted that they would help them enter the recreational cannabis industry once it's launched (sometime after July 2018). 

"The members of The Tragically Hip are known to a generation of Canadians for their unwavering commitment to quality and integrity and, as investors and partners, we look forward to drawing on their artistic sensibilities and complementary business acumen to help Newstrike develop brands, within the government's evolving regulatory framework, that reflect these same values," Newstrike CEO Jay Wilgar wrote. "I am proud, humbled and honoured that they chose to partner with us and invest in our team."

He added that the band will help them get their brand out to Canadians because "[n]o one knows Canada and Canadians like the members of The Tragically Hip."

And they're going to make Newstrike stocks recognizable too. Shares are expected to begin being traded on the TSX this Thursday under the ticker symbol HIP.

Check out the full text of their letter to fans below.

Hello Friends,

We are happy to announce that we have become partners with one of Canada’s newest, soon to be public, licensed producers of medicinal marijuana. The company is called Newstrike and, after much discussion and assessment on our part, we’ve decided that this company – and the many creative people in it – are a perfect fit for The Hip.

Medicinal cannabis is legal in Canada, and it already greatly benefits the health and well being of many of our fellow Canadians.

There is a commitment from the Federal Government to legalize recreational use in just over a year, and with good reason. The harm wrought by the prohibition of marijuana has been thoroughly researched and documented.

This is a common-sense-policy and, in our opinion, is a change for the best.

Newstrike has done its due diligence with respect to all aspects of this business. They’ve hired pre-eminent scientists and growers, developed large, well-structured sites and have the wherewithal and expertise to take this on.

We are excited about our involvement with Newstrike and are looking forward to the prospect of contributing creatively to their efforts.

More to come,

G + G + J + R + P

Banner image: Canadian Rock Legends The Tragically Hip play during a stop at the Orpheum in Vancouver, June 22nd, 2009, on their tour supporting their album "We are the same." (wikipedia.org)