Andrea Brooks and Natalie Fertig join host Heather Sullivan to talk about the recent moves towards more cannabis normalization by the NFL, Amazon, and Rolling Stone as well as the various routes states are taking to legalize marijuana. Produced by Shea Gunther.
International cannabis powerhouse Curaleaf announced on Tuesday that its Select brand will market co-branded cannabis products under a new strategic partnership with pop culture and music authority Rolling Stone. The deal will initially bring “Rolling Stone by Select” branded vaporizer products and pre-rolled joints to Nevada, with plans to expand to other regulated cannabis markets in the future.
“Rolling Stone and Select are creating a groundbreaking partnership that will showcase our next generation hardware [and] America’s best-selling premium cannabis oil while curating an exclusive relationship between music, cannabis and culture,” Select founder and president Cameron Forni wrote in an electronic message to Cannabis Now.
The new line of Rolling Stone by Select products will include Select’s newest proprietary cannabis oil vaporizer pod system, The Cliq, as well as Select’s first ever pre-rolled joint. Both product formats will feature three different “strains and flavor profiles hand-selected by Rolling Stone to celebrate some of the most well-known and genre-defining artists and sounds in music history,” Curaleaf wrote in a press release. The line includes Overdrive, berry-forward sativa; a complex and full-bodied indica known as Reverb; and a fruity, calming hybrid marketed under the moniker Phaser. The products will be distributed through Select’s wholesale partners and at Curaleaf dispensaries, including Acres by Curaleaf and Curaleaf Las Vegas Boulevard.
“Music and Cannabis go hand in hand,” said Rolling Stone president and chief operating officer Gus Wenner, noting that the company has a legacy of celebrating this connection and a history of covering cannabis policy reform efforts.
“We are thrilled to have found a perfect partner in Curaleaf who gives us the opportunity to design a product that elevates the music listening experience and celebrates the deep connection between the two.”
Music Icon Teams with Cannabis Powerhouse
Curaleaf and Select made headlines in 2019 when they joined forces in what was at the time the cannabis industry’s largest merger deal in history. Today, Curaleaf operates in 23 states with 106 cannabis dispensaries, 23 cultivation sites, and more than 30 processing sites, with a workforce of nearly 5,000 in the United States. Curaleaf International is the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in Europe, conducting pioneering scientific research integrated with a unique supply chain including cultivation, extraction and production, as well as a distribution network across the European market.
“Part of my job at Curaleaf is building brands people love. Select is a brand built around the relentless pursuit of progress and going to great lengths to create the best possible experience for our consumer,” Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern said in a statement from the company. “This is a synergy we are honored to share with Rolling Stone. They are known for having one of the most authentic and discerning voices in modern journalism, and, as part of that, they’ve included cannabis in their coverage for the past 50 years – something many other publications are only just starting to do today. We’re honored and thrilled that the Rolling Stone team believes in our vision, our products and our people to create and deliver the highest-quality cannabis products and experiences in the industry.”
Putting Social Equity into Practice
Bayern told Cannabis Now in an email that Rolling Stone and Curaleaf have an opportunity to use their combined platforms to advance social equity issues including reducing mass incarceration and ensuring that all entrepreneurs, especially those belonging to communities adversely affected by the War on Drugs, have an opportunity to participate in the legal cannabis economy.
“Since our inception, Curaleaf has been dedicated to putting its best foot forward for each other, our customers and our communities. We truly believe in shaping a healthy, inclusive, well-regulated cannabis industry that provides for social, financial and environmental benefits shared by all,” Bayern said. “Throughout Curaleaf’s network and supply chain, we’re constantly looking for ways to support equal access and opportunity for communities impacted by the War on Drugs so that everyone has the chance to participate in the regulated cannabis industry.”
Bayern noted that Curaleaf’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, called “Rooted in Good,” is grounded on three core pillars: social equity; sustainability; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Through the program, Curaleaf strives to deliver social impact through focused efforts that match the company’s capabilities and prioritize resources for social equity programming that deliver real opportunities.
“As a part of that work, we engage in strategic partnerships activating programs that foster opportunity and remove systematic barriers for communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and cannabis criminalization,” Bayern said. “Regarding our partnership with Rolling Stone, we are excited to explore conversations with their CSR team around future endeavors to further advance cannabis social equity issues and bring about change in a positive way.”
Curaleaf also revealed that the partnership would launch a new retail concept inspired by “Select’s commitment to enriching communities and creating inclusive, meaningful experiences and Rolling Stone’s world class storytelling and culture-defining content.” The retail location is expected to open in Las Vegas in 2022, with further details to be announced later.