Last week Canada’s largest medical marijuana producer signed a monumental deal with the doggfather himself. Tweed partnered up with cannabis icon and hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg after nearly two years of negotiations. The deal gives Tweed Inc exclusive rights to “unspecified content and brands” in exchange for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.
“Our team is proud to bring Snoop into the fold.” said Tweed Inc’s president Mark Zekulin.
Canada’s newly elected Liberal Prime Minister ran on the promise of legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada, and he has already started to follow through with that promise. Bringing Snoop in as a partner will give Tweed a massive advantage when transitioning from the medical marijuana to recreational cannabis market.
Tweed CEO and founder Bruce Linton is excited about the new partnership, he believes it will help them appeal to a much larger customer base. “How do we take these products which are medicinal and think about how to package them as recreational?” Linton told reporters. “When we get to recreational access you don’t want to just have a name or a single product, you want to have a portfolio and I think he’ll be very helpful with that.”
Snoop Dogg already has quite a bit of experience with the cannabis industry, not to mention his immense amount of experience with the cannabis plant itself. He recently launched his own line of cannabis strains called Leafs By Snoop, his own cannabis media site MerryJane.com and a marijuana focused venture capital fund called Casa Verde Capital.
Tweed Inc partnering up with Snoop Dogg is the first major sign that the transition from medical marijuana to recreational cannabis in Canada might be coming and producers are gearing up for the switch. Currently there are only about 30,000 medical marijuana patients in Canada, the recreational market will dwarf this with an estimated 8 million users.
The details of Canada’s plan to legalize, regulate and distribute cannabis nationwide are still unknown. PM Justin Trudeau has already started to put things in motion, but who knows how long it could take before Canadians can head down to their local dispensary and pick up some recreational bud. Despite this uncertainty, Canadian cannabis cultivators are getting ready for the massive move from medical to recreational cannabis.
Plans to regulate and distribute recreational marijuana in Canada are still in the gestation phase, but the initial plans aren’t very exciting for the average Canadian consumer.
Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne recently suggested distributing cannabis through the existing provincially run liquor stores. She argued that they are “very well suited to putting in place the social-responsibility aspects,” of marijuana sales. While this may be the easiest plan for policy makers to get behind, it doesn’t have the best interests of the average consumer in mind.
Warren Thomas, head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union supports Kathleen’s plan, saying “For one thing they have the social responsibility part covered — they do age checks, they do refusals if somebody’s intoxicated.”
The fear is that by giving the provincial government a monopoly on marijuana sales the prices could skyrocket, strain selection could plummet and the black market would continue to thrive. It doesn’t make much sense to package the whole recreational marijuana market with an industry that has demonized cannabis for decades. Not to mention the fact that these two substances couldn’t be more different from one another, the same “social-responsibility aspects” of regulating liquor sales don’t apply to cannabis.
PM Justin Trudeau hasn’t set anything in stone as of yet, so hopefully these potential problems won’t see the light of day. The timeline for full recreational legalization isn’t clear, but marijuana proponents have cause to be excited after this game-changing deal between Snoop Dogg and Tweed Inc.
“Canada has been at the forefront of the business model, and I look forward to being a part of the road ahead,” Snoop said after signing his deal with Tweed.
What do you think about Snoop Dog’s business venture with Canadian cannabis? Tell us below.