Celebrities high on marijuana businesses

Here’s how Stephen Colbert introduced Whoopi Goldberg on CBS’s Late Show last week: “My first guest is an actor, author, talk show host and has her own line of premium pot.”

Well, who doesn’t these days?

Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong are among the usual suspects who are pushing their own lines of specialty marijuana products.

“It’s almost gotten into the fad scenario at this point,” Harvard Business School marketing professor John Quelch tells USA TODAY Sports, “where celebrities almost feel obligated to attach themselves to the cause.”

Whoopi & Maya is a medical marijuana company that focuses on cannabis-infused salves, balms and edibles designed to relieve menstrual pain, according to the company’s website.

Goldberg told Colbert how she got into the cannabis business: “A friend of mine said to me, ‘Hey, Snoop Dogg is doing this and Willie is doing this.’ ”

No one had to say which Willie she was talking about. “Obviously,” Quelch says, ”his credentials in this regard were extremely strong.”

Here are just some of the bold-faced names with strong cred in the budding legal marijuana game:

Snoop Dogg: His branded line of marijuana, Leafs by Snoop, includes flavors such as Lemon Pie, Purple Bush and Northern Lights. “Let’s medicate, elevate and put it in the air,” as the rapper puts it on his website. A company in Colorado owns the business; Snoop Dogg can’t, as he is not a state resident. Lawyers for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ parent company are questioning a pending trademark for the leaf logo of Leafs by Snoop, apparently because of the potential for confusion with the Maple Leafs’ logo — though the overlap of consumers might consist of Wayne and Garth.

Willie Nelson: His product line is called Willie’s Reserve — tagline: “My stash is your stash” — and is grown and sold by local businesses in Washington and Colorado. “I feel like I bought so much, it’s time to start selling it back,” Nelson told Rolling Stone. The company website says that pot enthusiasts flocked to Nelson’s shows for decades as his band traveled across the country: “They happily shared the bounty from their home gardens and local communities. Willie happily returned the favor. Now Willie’s Reserve pays tribute to a tradition of sharing, caring and toking.” Hey, it’s always on his mind.

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