Soon to be 82-year-old country music legend and legendary stoner, Willie Nelson is planning to sell his own strain of marijuana in the states that have legalized cannabis. The name of the strain is Willie’s Reserve and is grade “A” quality.
Willie’s Reserve will be available to the public as well as to dispensaries that meet Willie’s high quality considerations. He would even consider selling his seeds to dispensaries that are of a certain quality. His main mission, however, is to employ small farmers. Nelson wants to create an environment where customers can buy whatever cannabis they need. He wants to open stores like Whole Foods for cannabis.
Nelson will market his Willie’s Reserve strain and open stores or dispensaries in the states that have made marijuana legal. Right now, Nelson is planning to open stores in Colorado, Washington state and Alaska. These retail stores will be open as soon as next year. Nelson’s stores will only offer what he believes to be grade “A” strains. He is excited to make this dream come true.
Nelson has a grade “A” quality business plan that he calls, the “anti-Walmart model.” His business partner, Michael Bowman, marijuana lobbyist, said, “Personally, internally, that’s what we call it.” A standard that will require growers to account for carbon and will empower the small growers who are growing it the right way,organically. In order for other strains to be sold in his stores, they will have to have the same quality, beliefs and mission.
Nelson is a Texas native, Air Force veteran and longtime marijuana supporter who is not at all shy about his own marijuana use. Nelson’s Reserve will market its own vaporizers. There will also be other paraphernalia offered from other companies that are of high quality.
It has not been said if Snoop Dogg, who is a friend of Nelson’s, and a well-known stoner himself, will be assisting with the Willie’s Reserve product development. It is also unknown if Marley Natural, a line of “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains” named after Bob Marley, reggae legend, will be sold in Nelson’s stores. Marley Natural will be released in 2016.
This next chapter in Willie’s life seems only fitting for the man whose autobiography is titled, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road.” In his book, Nelson hints that once he smoked marijuana on the White House roof when Carter was in office.
Willie has been a longtime supporter of cannabis as industrial hemp as well as marijuana and its legalization. He wants his stores to reflect his passion. Willie’s family, strongly focuses on environmental and social issues, as well as the war on drugs. Their goal is to be a guiding light along the trail, while extracting themselves from the “goo of prohibition.” Willie wants people to understand and see his morals and convictions. This will be seen in the store, as well as how Willie and Bowman will work with suppliers and operate the stores. The entire process will reflect Nelson’s way of life.
Willie and Bowman met when Willie’s wife, Annie, and Bowman co-founded the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance in 2005. The two have been friends ever since. Bowman said he was working on renewable energy and sustainability issues in D.C. when he was introduced to Willie.
Willie has strong personal beliefs concerning marijuana and he is a smart businessman. Colorado is expected to net $1 billion in 2016 from marijuana sales. Bowman says about taking the math to the conservatives will be the best way to gain their support. Dollar signs have a tendency to quickly change people’s minds and Bowman is hoping it will end prohibition. Nelson and Bowman plan to present their plan as a math equation, this is what is being spent on drugs, and if prohibition were to end, this intense energy and chemically intensive crops will become energy-efficient, environmentally benign crops that will create more products and more jobs. How much more conservative can that get?
Bowman said Willie’s Reserve strain and stores will be presented on a state-by-state basis at least until the federal government does something different. This is a passionate goal for Willie and Bowman. The legalization of marijuana, either from a state-by-state basis, or at the federal level is the goal of many across the country. There has been legislation presented to Congress that would, at the minimum, support the states who have legalized marijuana, but it has failed thus far.
By Jeanette Smith
Photo courtesy of John P. – Flickr License