Exclusive: Melissa Etheridge on Her California Cannabis Company, 'It's Hard, But We're Hanging in There'

Melissa Etheridge portrait by Elizabeth Miranda; prerolls image via Etheridge Botanicals.

While some think celebrities have a leg up on other cannabis brands, singer Melissa Etheridge, who launched Etheridge Botanicals in 2020, says it's not so easy. "We don't sell anymore than anyone else," she tells CelebStoner. "We're still in the dark."

Etheridge primarily blames this on Canadian companies "who starting buying all the American companies" after legalization happened there in 2017. "It's been tough for a boutique brand like ours."

The company sells flower in jars and prerolls in biodegradable tubes under the headings Morning, Noon and Night for sativa, hybrid and indica respectively. The products are only available at California dispensaries.

With the CBD industry continuing to grow, Etheridge and her team have added a line of CBD products via the new Etheridge Organics brand. From Pure Harmony to Pure Sleep, they offer five different tincture blends at various strengths.

"You and I may smoke at night before we go to bed with THC, but everyone, especially newbies, doesn't want the buzz," Etheridge says about preparing for sleep. "CBD relaxes muscles and connects with the endocannabinoid system. But I also enjoy the THC." 

Melissa Etheridge: "It's hard for little guys like us. The U.S. cannabis industry has been crippled by big companies coming in and buying everything up. It's sad." 

We agree that THC and CBD are a good combo when it comes to sleep. She notes her CBD products can be shipped to 38 states.

"It's hard for little guys like us in Santa Cruz," Etheridge says, referring to where the companies are based. "We need banking and loans. The U.S. cannabis industry has been crippled by big companies coming in and buying everything up. It's sad. There's not a lot of brand recognition in California other than MedMen and we know how that turned out. But we're hanging in there."

RELATED: CelebStoner's Top 45 Celebrity Cannabis Brands

Etheridge has a new album of previously unreleased songs, One Way Out, and is currently on tour. "Outdoor shows are normal," she reports, "But indoors the rules are different. People are more reticent."

This weekend she'll be in Kansas, her home state, headlining Camp Leavenworth in her hometown, and then singing the National Anthem before the Chiefs-Chargers game in Kansas City on Sunday. Asked how her Chiefs are doing, Etheridge simply responds, "We're 1-1."


Musical Sidebar

Who influenced Etheridge musically when she was growing up? The singer rattles off a bunch of names: "Tammy Wynette, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, Tommy James & the Shondells. My older sister was into Led Zep and Humble Pie. My parents were into the Mamas and the Papas, Aretha Franklin and Neil Diamond. I was a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I also liked Bob Seger, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading and, of course, Janis Joplin."

Etheridge was connected to Joplin biopic several decades ago that never happened.

In turn, who has Etheridge inspired with her music? After giving it some thought she names two performers: "Kelly Clarkson and Pink."


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.