Willie Nelson rolling out his own marijuana brand: Willie's Reserve

Country star Willie Nelson announced plans Monday to roll out his own brand of marijuana, capitalizing on his association with pot and the unofficial stoner holiday, 4/20.

The move makes the 81-year-old “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” singer the latest celebrity to jump into the marijuana marketplace.

Willie’s Reserve will be grown and sold in Colorado and Washington, where recreational pot is legal. Nelson said in a statement that he’s “looking forward to working with the best growers in Colorado and Washington to make sure our product is the best on the market.”

Nelson joins other famous pot personalities, including rapper Snoop Dogg, who endorses vaporizing products; singer Melissa Etheridge, who is developing marijuana-infused wine; and TV star and self-help guru Bethenny Frankel, who is working on a strain of Skinnygirl weed that wouldn’t leave users with the munchies. Nelson has well-established connections to cannabis. He’s been a decriminalization advocate and has been busted for pot possession several times. He also appeared in the stoner comedy “Half Baked.”

Washington and Colorado made pot legal for adult use in 2012. Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia also have removed legal restrictions, and more states are expected to vote on legalization next year.

The moves have created marketing opportunities, but links to star smokers aren’t always considered a plus.

The National Cannabis Industry Association dropped actor Tommy Chong as it prepared to lobby Congress for pot-friendly regulations. The group wanted to move past the stoner image it says Chong represents in favor of positioning pot as similar to fine wine.

Others see it differently, however.

Chong has an endorsement deal with Marisol Therapeutics, a shop in Colorado that sells a strain in his name.

Store owner Mike Stetler called Chong marijuana’s equivalent of the Marlboro Man, and when it comes to pot pitchmen, he asked,

“Who better?”


TV pitch or art stunt? Fliers were posted in the Mission over the weekend seeking actors for “94110,” a show about tech executives in the Mission, according to the Uptown Almanac blog. The fliers ask hopefuls to meet at SF Arts Quarterly’s space, which isn’t exactly known for its Hollywood connections. … Actress Gwyneth Paltrow will join Gavin and Jennifer Siebel Newsom today at a highfalutin Earth Day benefit in the Fillmore.


Offensive tackle Khalif Barnes of the Raiders is 33. … Singer Robert Smith of The Cure is 56. … Singer Iggy Pop is 68. … Actress-comedian Elaine May (“A New Leaf”) is 83. … Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is 89. — Staff, wire report

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