— Willie's Reserve (@WilliesReserve) February 27, 2017
Everyone’s been asking — and here they are!
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by: John Katsilometes
I’ve occasionally encountered a busker in downtown Las Vegas dressed as Willie Nelson,but this was the genuine article.
Seemingly recovered from the illness that caused him to cancel last weekend’s performances at Venetian Theater, the country music icon turned up in the Arts District on Tuesday night. The “Willie Nelson & Family” performances were to return to the stage Wednesday night, and again Friday and Saturday.
Generating buzz by his mere presence, Nelson stopped at Exile Boutique apparel and guitar shop on Main Street, just south of Charleston Boulevard. He was on hand to promote his new Willie Nelson Reserve line of cannabis products, grown and harvested in Las Vegas by Redwood Cultivation. Willie’s Reserve is being distributed at eight area medical marijuana dispensaries.
Nelson walked in amid a haze of smoke that reminded of a scene in “Refer Madness,” or the Titanic number in “Jubilee.” He was greeted by a sea of well-wishers that included Corey Harrison of “Pawn Stars” and Plaza Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Jossel.
Keeping in form, Nelson fired up a few samples and passed them around the room, which swiftly took on the fragrance of a Snoop Dogg concert.
I asked Nelson about his health, which was the reason for last weekend’s cancellation of his shows. “I’m good. I’m getting there.” He then nodded to the throng in the store and said, “Good crowd, huh?” I told him, “I’ve been to a lot of events in Las Vegas, but nothing quite like this.”
“Well, we have a lot of good people working hard and I want everybody to be happy and get along,” he said. “We have a good product, and I think they’re having fun.”
He then offered a sample, lighter at the ready. “Not tonight,” I said. “Not any night actually.” And so it goes …
Marijuana advocate, country legend and actor Willie Nelson was at the music store Exile on Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday night for a private party to celebrate Redwood Cultivation becoming the exclusive cultivator and distributor of Willie’s Reserve in Nevada. I have never seen so much blue haze in my life!
When I went for dinner afterward, the restaurant staff wanted to inhale my jacket! Eight Las Vegas area medical dispensaries will sell his signature pre-rolled joints. In addition to Willie-branded T-shirts, hoodies, lighters and baseball caps, Willie even has dark chocolate almond bites, although for the party, there was no marijuana in the samples.
Nice to know that the bites are 100 percent vegan and gluten and dairy free. Willie, who begins a run at The Venetian tonight and returns Friday and Saturday, went behind the counter to chat with fans and fellow smokers and pose for photographs.
There has to be something in his Willie’s Reserve because his career has lasted six decades, he has produced more than 200 albums, and he celebrates his 84th birthday April 29. His ninth studio album on Sony’s Legacy drops April 28.
“God’s Problem Child” is an album of all-new recordings, adding 13 new songs to his repertoire. This album is the first to debut Willie’s all-new songs since “Band of Brothers” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Charts in 2014.
Willie says the album reflects on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it. “God’s Problem Child” finds Willie at one of the creative peaks of his career writing and singing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that can only come from the kind of life he’s living.
One of his new songs, “Still Not Dead,” pokes fun at the many exaggerated reports of his demise he’s heard over the years, while “Delete and Fast Forward” is his unabashed analysis of the 2016 U.S. elections and how to deal with the aftermath.
“God’s Problem Child” opens with Willie’s performance of “Little House on the Hill,” a song written by Lyndel Rhodes, Buddy Cannon’s 92-year-old mother. Last October, a video of Lyndel hearing Willie singing her song for the first time became a viral sensation.
Willie continues to make music every day. When he’s not in the studio, he’s on the road again performing more than 100 shows in the last year, including Farm Aid, 4th of July Picnic, ACL Festival, First Outlaw Festival and more.
True to form, Willie rolled up in his touring bus Tuesday night and parked outside Exile. Post-appearance, he hopped right back on and took off for The Venetian.
— Willie’s Reserve (@WilliesReserve) December 21, 2016
Willie’s Reserve Annie’s Chocolates are sold at designated recreational marijuana dispensaries in Washington State, where the use, sale and possession of marijuana, for adults, is legal pursuant to state law.
Join Michael Eckford in Marijuana Minute, a smart, irreverent new web series covering everything you need to know about the fastest growing industry in America. Sponsored by Willie’s Reserve, a premium line of cannabis products and a lifestyle brand that celebrates award-winning musician, actor, author, and advocate Willie Nelson and his love of cannabis and its culture. How much can you learn in one minute?
Marijuana Minute stars Michael Eckford and was produced by Mary Zilba and Fiona Forbes of LadyPants Productions in Vancouver.
by: Craig Sailor
A Shelton- and Tacoma-based pot business is now growing marijuana for Willie’s Reserve, the brand launched by country music star and cannabis connoisseur Willie Nelson.
It’s another major twist in the South Sound company’s story, which was run out of one county only to be embraced by another.
Brothers Taylor and Garrett Balduff are the owners of the cannabis operation called Forbidden Farms. They grow their cannabis in Mason County, near Shelton, and process it on Tacoma’s Tideflats.
“To get an endorsement from an American icon is pretty awesome,” Taylor said.
The brothers smoked some of their Maui Wowie strain with Nelson backstage July 23 at his Marymoor Park concert.
“He was a fan,” Taylor said. “He liked it most definitely.”
Nelson is selling his brand, to which the Balduff brothers are contributors, in various Washington pot shops. Forbidden Farms is one of three in Washington listed as growers for Willie’s Reserve.
To get Nelson’s approval, an inspection team visited the farm in early 2016.
“They were absolutely blown away with what we were doing,” Taylor said. The team was impressed with the natural light the brothers use to grow their cannabis while still maintaining top quality.
Taylor, 32, manages the processing operation. Garrett, 35, manages the farm. They employ 18 workers. Both brothers and employees switch between the two sites as needed.
“It’s the new American Dream,” Garrett said. “Working together, owning our own business. It’s a new industry, and we were able to get our foot in the door.”
The Balduffs grew up in Bonney Lake and Buckley. Taylor worked in property management while arrett worked in home remodeling. Both dabbled with collective marijuana gardens before taking on cannabis full time.
It wasn’t easy getting off the ground.
Almost a year after Initiative 502 passed in November 2012, the brothers found a site in rural Lewis County. They sold personal assets and cashed out 401(k)s to start their business.