Archive for the ‘marijuana, NORML, hemp’ Category
by: Thomas Dunford
The Red Headed Stranger just scored some green, in more ways than one.
A New York private equity firm is backing country singer and songwriter Willie Nelson’s endeavor to sell marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
Tuatara Capital is leading an investor group financing the Willie’s Reserve cannabis brand for sale in the two states’ recreational markets, “and also other states as regulations allow,” according to a news release.
“We’re really excited to partner with someone like Willie, who embodies this spirit of American entrepreneurship and conviction to a cause,” said Tuatara Chief Investment Officer Al Foreman.
Mr. Nelson announced the Willie’s Reserve effort earlier this year, telling the Guardian, “I’ve bought a lot of pot over the years, and now I’m going to sell some back.”
Mr. Foreman said Tuatara was introduced to the Willie’s Reserve team as a potential financial sponsor several months ago. Other participants in the transaction include a mix of institutional and individual investors, Mr. Foreman said.
Mr. Nelson, famed for such songs as “On the Road Again” and “Crazy,” has long been known as an outspoken advocate for—and user of—marijuana. He is a co-chairman of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws advisory board and in 2010 launched the TeaPot political party under the motto “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!”
The latter movement arose from one of Mr. Nelson’s several arrests over the years on charges of marijuana possession after a sheriff in Texas found about six ounces of the substance on his tour bus in November 2010. The singer entered a “no contest” plea to a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, agreeing to pay a $500 fine without jail time.
The Willie’s Reserve brand will be grown, distributed and sold by local businesses in Colorado and Washington, the release said. The two states in 2012 passed ballot measures to make the growing, transportation, sale and possession of cannabis for recreational use legal on the state level. The drug remains a Schedule I controlled substance as defined by the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, meaning the federal government maintains it has “no currently accepted medical use.”
In November, voters in Oregon and Alaska approved the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use. Dispensaries in Oregon can begin selling recreational cannabis starting Oct. 1. A similarly taxed and regulated market isn’t expected to be up and running in Alaska until next year.
Launching as a Pacific Northwest-based venture, the Willie’s Reserve brand will look to potentially expand into those developing markets, and is “also keenly looking to the other states that are looking to put adult recreational-use measures on the ballot in the 2016 election year,” Mr. Foreman said.
Nevada has approved the inclusion of a recreational-marijuana measure on its 2016 ballot, and advocates are working on similar proposals in states such as Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Missouri and Florida.
Launched in 2014, Tuatara focuses exclusively on investments in the legal cannabis industry. The firm states on its website that it will “only support companies operating legally in states with cannabis regulatory schemes that comply with the guidance that has been issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.”
The Justice Department in February 2014 released guidelines for financial institutions offering services to marijuana businesses that comply with state laws. Such financial institutions won’t face federal prosecution under the current administration as long as the businesses they deal with avoid selling cannabis to minors, agree not to divert marijuana to states where it remains illegal, and avoid the use of firearms or violence to sell their product.
The Willie’s Reserve transaction is the first investment for Tuatara, said Mr. Foreman, a former managing director with Highbridge Principal Strategies LLC.
The firm’s other principals include Mark Zittman, a former senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners Capital Markets Group; Marc Riiska, formerly a senior director at SS&C Technologies Inc.; and Robert Hunt, a Colorado attorney and founder of cannabis consulting firm Consult Canna.
As of the end of July, Tuatara had raised $25.8 million toward its debut fund, Tuatara Capital Fund I LP, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Financial terms of the firm’s investment in Willie’s Reserve weren’t disclosed, but Mr. Foreman said the firm is focusing on growth-stage investments in companies with proven management.
“We’re looking for teams that have built companies previously,” Mr. Foreman said. “We’re not really focused on early-stage risk with this industry. Our goal is to support the types of operators and high-quality teams that have established businesses and who know the compliance environment.”
Willie’s Reserve isn’t the first celebrity-branded cannabis line to attract the attention of an alternative investment manager. In November, Privateer Holdings Inc., a firm focused on legal marijuana and related projects, teamed up with the family of the late reggae singer Bob Marley to launch the Marley Natural line of cannabis products.
Privateer earlier this year closed a $75 million funding round with the support of Founders Fund, the firm co-founded by early Facebook Inc. backer Peter Thiel.
Write to Thomas Dunford at email@example.com
NORML Advisory Board
We are also very grateful to the late Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Altman, and John Morgan, M.D. for their years of support.
By lending their name to the organization, advisory board members provide added credibility and create new opportunities for NORML to get our message out to the media. The battle for the hearts and minds of the public is largely fought in the media, and a prestigious advisory board assures NORML greater access to those who shape public opinion.
More importantly, the inclusion of respected individuals on the advisory board sends the message to tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly that it is culturally safe for them to speak out on this important issue. When prominent Americans demonstrate the courage to challenge current policies, average Americans are empowered to do the same.
In addition to lending their name to the cause, advisory board members will appear with NORML when we announce new advertising campaigns, urge support for a particular piece of legislation, or launch a new program. Members will also be featured at NORML Conferences and other high profile events.
“Willie Nelson: tireless champion of small farmers, civil liberties, the environment, common sense and the common good.” — Jim HightowerSunday, August 2nd, 2015
With marijuana prohibition finally ending in states and cities across the land — including full legalization in Alaska, Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Washington, D.C. — who could be better than my friend Willie Nelson to lead the way for weed quality and social responsibility?
The iconic musician and intrepid fighter for justice has announced that he’ll market his own marijuana brand, “Willie’s Reserve,” and open a group of stores selling top-quality pot and paraphernalia.
“I feel like I was buying so much of it, it’s time to start selling it back,” Willie said of his new weed venture. “I am looking forward to working with the best growers in Colorado and Washington to make sure our product is the best on the market.”
A tireless champion of small farmers, civil liberties, the environment, common sense and the common good, Nelson plans to start rolling out his stores and products this year, and he’ll expand further as state laws allow. In the typical Willie way, the stores will be “the anti-Wal-Mart model,” with a core purpose of helping expand the market for small, energy-efficient, environmentally sound growers.
Over the years I’ve cited Willie’s work in calling for legalization and restoration of hemp farming in America. I’ve also called repeatedly for an end to the Orwellian, Kafkaesque drug war that’s criminalized the cannabis equivalent of cocktail hour. Around 700,000 people are arrested each year for marijuana-related offenses.
And now, I salute the innumerable grassroots activists who’ve steadily pushed America from the darkness of reefer madness to being able to light up a Willie without getting busted.
Jim Hightower is the editor of the newsletter The Hightower Lowdown
Order this LIMITED EDITION tee designed by renowned artist Micah Nelson in celebration of the recent announcement of Willie’s personal brand of marijuana.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit “The Realm Of The Caring” (http://theroc.us/).
Available while supplies last.
Shirt details : 4.5 oz., preshrunk 100% certified organic ringspun cotton
Get yours here.
by: Paul Venema
BRIARCLIFF, Texas – Relaxing at his ranch outside of Austin, Texas, country music legend Willie Nelson discussed his plans to enter the marijuana market this fall.
Nelson said that he made the decision after the sale of recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado and Washington state in 2012
“We’re setting up businesses there,” Nelson said, explaining that he hopes to have what he’ll call “Willie’s Reserve” available by September in Colorado.
“This product is some of the best they have to offer up there,” he said.
Nelson said that he understands that there will be plenty of competition.
“You can go into any of the places in Colorado now and get good weed (and) smoke, (if) you want to,” Nelson said.
He predicted that in less than a decade recreational marijuana will be available in every state.
“I never thought I’d see the day that pot would be legal anywhere in the United States,” he said.
“The bottom line is money, and once those old guys see how much money is being made in Colorado and Washington — all the places that it is legal — they’ll say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We may want to think about it,’” Nelson said, referring to lawmakers who are opposed to the legalization of marijuana.
But for him, he said it is about more than just money. It’s about social acceptance of marijuana.
“It’ll generate talk, which is more important than money,” Nelson said.
illie Nelson, NORML fundraiser (Austin, Texas)
Willie Nelson, the outlaw country singer and Texas legend, predicts marijuana will be legal in all 50 states by the end of the decade.
Speaking to KSAT 12 reporter Paul Venema, Nelson cited the opportunity to make big bucks as the primary reason that the drug will be legalized.
Laws that legalize the recreational use of marijuana have been passed in Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and the District of Columbia, according to Governing.
“The bottom line is money, and once those old guys see how much money is being made in Colorado and Washington, all the places that it is legal, they’ll say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We may want to think about it,'” Nelson told KSAT.
Nelson is expected to launch his own marijuana company in Colorado this fall.
Music legend Willie Nelson is pleased to announce a unique American enterprise: Willie’s Reserve, a cannabis brand reflecting Nelson’s own longstanding experience and his commitment to regulated, natural, and high quality strains of marijuana in U.S. legal markets. As one journalist has already noted, “The marijuana world is about to get its first connoisseur brand, edging it farther from an illegal substance and closer to the realm of fine wines.”
Willie’s Reserve is an extension of Willie’s passion and appreciation for the many varieties and range of the plant’s qualities. Some of the best master growers in America will collaborate, along with Willie, to define quality standards so that fans can expect clean and consistent products.
Willie’s Reserve will be grown, distributed and sold by local businesses in Colorado and Washington, and will become available in other markets when state regulations allow.
Somewhat controversially, Willie has spent a lifetime as an outspoken supporter of cannabis for personal use and for industrial hemp production.
Building on Willie’s community of friends and experts who share his values, Willie’s Reserve will seek ways to further support and celebrate aspects of the singer-songwriter’s journey with cannabis. Willie and his family, and a few close friends developed the brand with emphasis on environmental and social issues, to lend support to the gradual end to marijuana prohibition across America.
“I am looking forward to working with the best growers in Colorado and Washington to make sure our product is the best on the market,” stated Willie Nelson.
Collaboration is at the center of plans for Willie’s Reserve. Willie has been an outspoken supporter of the front line efforts of store owners, growers, and citizens who have been pioneers and advocates of cannabis policy improvements. The company will work with businesses that are making smart and sustainable choices for the environment, have demonstrated leadership in their markets, and are committed to encouraging safe, legal use.
Seeing the power of legalization, regulation and taxation to impact how Americans view cannabis is a life’s work realized for Willie. As many have noted, his involvement is no surprise, and in the end, it’s no surprise that Willie’s Reserve will reflect his life.
About Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson’s website is selling these limited edition tee-shirts, designed by Micah Nelson in celebration of the recent announcement of Willie’s personal brand of marijuana.
PURCHASE YOURS HERE:
Also, please note this is a pre-order item and will ship out early May and is only available while supplies last. Shirt details : 4.5 oz., preshrunk 100% certified organic ringspun cotton.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit “The Realm Of The Caring” ( http://theroc.us/ ).
?The Realm of Caring Foundation (RoC) is a non-profit organization that provides support services and resources for those using Cannabinoid products.
What We Do
The Realm of Caring is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has been formed to provide a better quality of life for those affected by disorders and diseases, including but not limited to, Cancer, MS, HIV/AIDS, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, through the use of concentrated cannabinoid extracts. Each client’s progress is monitored through an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved observational research study. Through the observational research studies, the Realm of Caring is able to educate the general public as to the positive effects of cannabinoid supplements.
The Realm of Caring Foundation was informally established by the Stanley Brothers as well as Paige Figi and Heather Jackson, the first two success stories using Charlotte’s Web™ in early 2012. After receiving several inquiries from families seeking help around the world, the group recognized the need to create a formal organization to not only collect research and data on individuals using cannabis products; but also to educate and advocate about this often misunderstood form of therapy.
The Stanley’s have since transitioned away from the Realm of Caring to focus their efforts on production and new product development. Paige has fulfilled a needed legislative role serving as Executive Director of Coalition for Access Now, a 501c4 organization committed to educating the public and lawmakers on the health benefits associated with natural therapies derived from cannabis for chronic health conditions. Heather is serving as the Executive Director of the Realm of Caring the 501c3 entity. The backbone of the RoC has always been the family volunteers who have given so judiciously of their time and talent. With families at the helm, it has been recognized that the vision and mission of the company will be realized, and the interest of the client will always be held first.
The Realm of Caring Foundation was formally established on 8/13/13, and has received its 501c3 designation as a recognized non-profit entity. We continue with the same mission and vision that we always have. Our advocacy work has been featured in media outlets across the country including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, NBC and two CNN specials hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
by: Patrick Doyle
Smoking Willie Nelson’s weed is a lifelong ambition of stoners everywhere, enjoyed only by a few lucky fans and friends like Snoop Dogg and Merle Haggard. Not anymore, though. On Monday, Nelson announced his own cannabis company, Willie’s Reserve, which will bring “Willie Weed” to the masses. The product will be grown and sold by local businesses in Colorado and Washington and more as state regulation allows.
Rolling Stone recently caught up with Nelson on his bus backstage near San Antonio, Texas, where he discussed the product. “I will make sure it’s good or it won’t be on sale,” the singer says. “There should be a menu just like in a restaurant because there’s so many different kinds of pot that do many different things. It’s a good idea to have everything labeled for what it does, what it don’t do [and] how powerful it is.”
Nelson says the business will also include stores with “menus of products” and edibles. “It fell together like evolution wants it to,” Nelson says. “It’s just a matter of time in this country before it’s legal. I feel like I bought so much, it’s time to start selling it back!”
The singer said in a statement that Willie’s Reserve “is an extension of [my] passion and appreciation for the many varieties and range of the plant’s qualities. Some of the best master growers in America will collaborate…to define quality standards so that fans can expect clean and consistent products.”
Nelson has been an advocate for legalization and has been involved with National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for decades. He was arrested as recently as 2010, when he memorably created “The Teapot Party.” “They mostly want autographs now,” Nelson says of police officers. “They don’t really bother me anymore for the weed, because you can bust me now and I’ll pay my fine or go to jail, get out and burn one on the way home. They know they’re not stopping me.”
Nelson says the company will emphasize environmental and social issues to “support the gradual end of marijuana prohibition across America.” “Seeing the power of legalization, regulation and taxation to impact how Americans view cannabis is a life’s work realized for Willie,” a rep for the singer said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to working with the best growers in Colorado and Washington to make sure our product is the best on the market,” Nelson added.
The singer has also teamed with friend Merle Haggard for the pro-marijuana video “It’s All Going to Pot,” which premiered Monday on Conan O’Brien’s website.