Five years after launching Marley Natural cannabis products, the Marley family is taking the business back to Jamaica where they plan to open several retail ganja dispensaries. The first will be at the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Rd. in Kingston, the house where the family lived and Bob Marley recorded.
One the biggest cannabis supporters the world has ever known, Marley famously declared, “It's the healing of the nation. When you smoke herb, you reveal yourself.”
Wracked with cancer, Marley died 40 years ago. His children have carried the Marley legacy forward, first as musicians – Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Ziggy, Stephen, Damian, Ky-Mani and now a new generation of his grandchildren like Skip and Joe Mersa.
Then as business people. Who hasn’t heard the music of Bob Marley hyping Jamaicam tourism or companies like Hyundai? Everything’s gonna be alright, right?
In 2009, the Marley estate made a licensing deal with Hilco Consumer Capital for Bob Marley shoes, food, collectibles, luggage, musical instruments and stationery.
Stephen Marley: “Along with music, herb was such an important part of my father’s life. He was always a strong advocate for marijuana and all of its healing qualities."
When states began to legalize adult use of cannabis in 2012, the Marleys were ready. By 2014, they had a worldwide licensing agreement with Privateer Holdings to launch a line of ganja products under the Marley Natural brand. Their first flower products debuted at a swanky Hollywood Hills party a year and a half later on Marley's’s birthday.
“It’s more than just about cannabis, it’s about building a responsible brand,” Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy said the time (he's now Tilray's CEO).
Just weeks after the party, Jamaica decriminalized possession of two ounces, smoking in private and medicinal and religious use. The timing could'nt have been better timing for the Marleys.
Their Jamaica deal is with Docklight Brands, a company founded by Privateer. Both are based in Seattle. Docklight’s brand portfolio also includes Irisa, The Goodship and Headlight.
One Draw Holdings, Ltd., a Marley affiliate, will have exclusive rights to operate Marley Natural cannabis retail stores and distribute Marley Natural cannabis products in Jamaica. “One Draw” is a song written by Marley and performed by his wife Rita.
Marley ganja shops will also eventually be located at the Tuff Gong Studio and other places on the island, such as tourist hotspot, Negril. Both THC and CBD products, as well as accessories, will be sold. The first Marley store is expected to open later this year. A press release notes that the “opening of the dispensary will allow qualified consumers to enjoy authentic cannabis at Bob’s house.”
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Stephen Marley, Bob’s second eldest son, comments: “Along with music, herb was such an important part of my father’s life. He was always a strong advocate for marijuana and all of its healing qualities. We are thrilled to honor him and his contribution to the world of music and now cannabis at the Bob Marley Museum.”
This dispensary will be the first in Docklight’s global expansion of "the Marley Natural retail footprint," the release continues, with additional locations planned in North America.