Cannabis was once a dirty word shrouded in controversy and taboo. Many believed it to be the plant created by the devil, used only by stoners, misfits, delinquents, and losers destined for nothing more than crime, psychosis, or death. Celebrities, especially ones in the wider public lens, would never have dared speak about cannabis in a favorable light in fear of negative repercussions.
And now? Well, everything has changed — for the better. Celebrities are jumping into the cannabis and CBD industry everyday to get a piece of the action, especially now attitudes toward the plant have shifted dramatically in favor of acceptance.
So, who are the top celebrities involved in cannabis? Why are they important? Are they using their fame to help the industry?
1. Snoop Dogg
No list about celebrities being involved in cannabis can begin without the main man himself, Snoop Doggy Dogg. The man, the myth, and then legend, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., has cemented his legacy as one of the most entertaining cannabis advocates ever to walk the planet.
According to various sources, Snoop’s uncle introduced him to cannabis at the tender age of eight or nine years old. To him, that was the moment that defined his youth growing up, eventually evolving into what we see today: a trailblazing hip hop star never without a blunt hanging from his bottom lip.
His hip-hop career began in 1992 when he featured on Dr. Dre’s debut solo single, “Deep Cover”, taken from his critically acclaimed The Chronic album, a masterpiece and ultimate soundtrack to a hazy green night.
From there, his rise to hip hop stardom grew infinitely beyond his humble beginnings and his entire discography became a combined ode to cannabis — just listen to “I Love Weed” or “Smoke Weed Everyday” and you get the picture.
In 2015, he started his own cannabis brand, Leafs By Snoop, in Denver, Colorado, selling high-grade Indica and Sativa flower varieties. Many claim them to be some of the best cannabis flowers in the industry. Snoop Dogg is also a part-owner of Canopy Growth, the largest cannabis grow operation in the world.
2. Seth Rogan
Seth Rogan is the ultimate modern-day stoner actor. His entire filmography is a weird, whacky, and truly bizarre cinematic shrine to the plant created to provide you and your best buddies a visual glimpse into Rogan’s hazed-out brain. Just give Pineapple Express a watch and you’ll know what we mean.
Rogan’s love for cannabis, however, isn’t simply limited to his movies. He’s a huge cannabis advocate outside the entertainment industry and has been for years. According to various sources on the internet, Rogan smokes a “truly ungodly amount” of weed while making pottery with his wife. Incredibly wholesome.
After ten years of developing his own cannabis brand, it became a reality just this year in 2021. The brand, known as Houseplant, not only sells premium, high-grade weed for all you connoisseurs out there but also ceramics, lighters, ashtrays, and other various forms of paraphernalia.
3. Joe Rogen
Joe Rogen isn’t shy about his involvement in the cannabis and CBD industry. In fact, the UFC commentator-turned-comedian-turned-epic podcaster uses his platform to advocate for cannabis and its benefits, as well as overall legalization and reform.
His podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which is probably the most popular podcast ever created, has welcomed numerous cannabis-related discussions, ranging from cannabis for mental health disorders, cannabis legalization, and the overall effects of high-THC marijuana and what it can do for you. He even offered Elon Musk a joint and he smoked it (well, kind of half-smoked it at least).
What’s impressive about Rogen is his open-mindedness and ability to have deeper discussions about cannabis and everything surrounding it. With such a massive audience, his platform reaches millions of people worldwide, providing them with valuable information from industry experts and health professionals.
4. Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill is synonymous with cannabis. The hip-hop group, founded in sunny South Gate, California, has made cannabis the prized centerpiece of its music.
What’s so special about Cypress Hill is they’ve made no apologies for loving cannabis. They never hid it, even when cannabis was such a taboo subject, especially among the general public who believed the Devil’s Lettuce was a literal symbol of hell, fire, and brimstone.
In our view, Cypress Hill paved the way for cannabis acceptance through the medium of hip-hop, waving the torch high for other artists to openly express their love for cannabis. This feat hasn’t gone unrewarded either. The group’s 1993 sophomore album, Black Sunday, which features the ultimate cannabis anthems “Hits From the Bong” and “Insane in the Brain”, hit triple platinum with 3.4 million units sold in the US.
Today, founding member B-Real successfully launched his own cannabis dispensary franchise called Dr. Greenthumb in 2018. These dispensaries are located all around southern California.
5. Willie Nelson
If you don’t know who Willie Nelson is, you clearly haven’t lived. The man is the epitome of cool, not just because he’s a long-standing, established actor and musician but also because he’s a long-standing, vocal cannabis advocate.
In a candid interview with Rolling Stone, Nelson believes cannabis “saved his life”. Quite the accolade but not a shocking one. His championing of cannabis and its medicinal benefits, as well as campaigning for cannabis law reform, has spanned over five decades.
He’s an honorary NORML advisory board member. He owns his own cannabis brand named Willie’s Reserve. He held three live streaming concerts following the COVID-19 lockdowns, one of which was named Come And Toke It. Part of the proceeds from the concert went to The Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit reform program for people convicted of cannabis-related crimes.
6. Carl Sagan
You’re probably surprised to see Carl Sagan and cannabis in the same sentence. Not many people know this, but Mr. Sagan was no stranger to getting high with many people (bar his wife, close friends, and family) not even realizing it. He’s clearly the total opposite of Snoop Dogg.
However, don’t let his secrecy about consuming cannabis fool you into thinking he simply enjoyed getting high in the comfort of his own home. He was, in all matter of fact, a staunch cannabis advocate, albeit a covert one out. He feared openly supporting cannabis in the war on drugs era would damage his professional reputation, preventing him from becoming a professor at the prestigious Cornell University in New York.
This doesn’t mean he kept quiet. Not even in the slightest. He cleverly advocated for cannabis behind the pseudonym, “Mr. X”, a name he used to pen a famous essay for Lester Grinspoon’s 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered. To many, this essay is the ultimate ode to cannabis and its effects through the written word.
Sagan also wrote letters to the Drug Policy Foundation, questioning the scientific validity of the War on Drugs campaign, something his wife later said: “infuriated Carl as a scientist”.
7. Run The Jewels
Firstly, if you’ve never heard of Run The Jewels, go and listen to their music immediately. The hip-hop duo composed of EL-P and Killer Mike released a string of four incredible albums over the past 10 or so years.
Secondly, according to EL-P in a press statement, both members “fucking love weed”, so it’s no real shocker to learn they partnered with two cannabis companies, Cookies and Lemonnade, to release their first-ever cannabis strain.
This strain, known as Ooh La La, is a hybrid strain boasting spicy aromas with sweet, almost juicy tastes, providing users with a balanced head and body high. The duo believes it represents everything they love about weed and how it symbolizes their passion for cannabis advocacy.
8. Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin, formally known as Thomas B. Kin Chong and Richard Anthony Marin, are not only two of the funniest celebrity cannabis activists in the world but also historically important.
Their comedy act, Cheech & Chong, existed throughout the 70s and 80s, a time when cannabis was a taboo subject, especially among mainstream audiences.
Their first-ever feature film, Up in Smoke, which was released in 1978, is widely regarded as the originator of stoner comedy movies, one that Seth Rogan cites as his creative inspiration. Subsequent sequels followed, cementing the duo as the ultimate stoner movie kings.
Throughout their career, cannabis remained their true passion, both owning their own separate cannabis companies. Cheech owns Cheech’s Stash, while Chong owns Tommy Chong’s Cannabis.
9. Mike Tyson
Who would have thought Mike Tyson, the man who infamously bit the ear off of Evander Holyfield in a boxing match back in 1997, would invest in the cannabis industry over 20 years later? Well, he did. And he went big with it, taking full advantage of California’s lax cannabis legalization laws.
In 2020, Tyson opened Tyson Ranch, a 40-acre cannabis-themed adult playground, which houses an amphitheater, a dispensary, an edible making factory, and an extraction facility, as well as glamorous camping grounds. 20-acres of land is also used for growing new and improved weed strains for brands to sell and researchers to use for scientific purposes.
So far, Tyson Ranch generates roughly $500K per month. Quite a nice sum of money in his back pocket don’t you think?
10. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter
Aside from a tiny select few, hip-hop extraordinaire Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is one of the most successful rappers-turned-entrepreneurs ever, estimated to be worth a whopping $1.3 billion and counting. He didn’t simply get this from his illustrious hip-hop career. No, no. The man is a prolific businessman, who has ventured into a number of different industries, including fashion wear, film, TV, and, of course, music.
His latest endeavor is none other than cannabis. In 2019, he became Chief Brand Strategist for Calvia, a California-based cannabis company founded in 2015. Later in 2020, he ranked up to Chief Visionary Officer during Calvia’s merger with TCPO Holding Corp. In the same year, Jay-Z laid down the blueprints for his own artisan cannabis company, Monogram, which officially launched in November.
His position in Calvia and the launch of Monogram does much more for the industry than just marketing and selling cannabis products. Sure, he’s the face of both brands, but his own socially and politically conscious views play a huge part in their mission statements.
Monogram’s core ethos is a prime example of Jay-Z’s social and criminal justice vision. The brand has recently introduced a brand new drug policy awareness campaign designed to challenge the US’s contradictory and hypocritical stance on cannabis.
11. Dan Bilzerian
Let’s be honest, Dan Bilzerian’s involvement in the cannabis industry isn’t a shocking revelation. The larger-than-life, gun-touting, boob-lovin’, bearded maverick is a force to be reckoned with, whether you like the guy or not. When he sees an opportunity to dive into an exciting new industry, he takes it, which is exactly what he did with his IGNITE CBD brand.
Established in the US in 2018, IGNITE’s goal was (and still is) to push its range of CBD products to a global market, not simply with a whisper but with a huge resounding bang. In 2019 through 2020, the brand expanded into the UK, the Middle East, Mexico, and Canada with a commitment to social responsibility and healthy lifestyles.
Unfortunately for Bilzerian and IGNITE team, the brand hit financial troubles throughout 2020. Many speculators believe bankruptcy is on the cards, to which Bilzerian replied, “Uber is worth 80 billion. It has never had a profitable month since it started and it lost over 5 billion in one-quarter last year”. Make of that what you will.
12. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwenyth Paltrow was a little late to the cannabis and CBD party but the actor-turned-health and wellness entrepreneur clearly wanted a piece of the pie.
In the latter half of 2020, she invested a substantial sum of money into Cann, a cannabis beverage brand selling what it calls Social Tonics composed of balanced CBD & THC ratios. The aim of these cannabis drinks is to give the user a friendly buzz without causing an astronomical high. The buzz is designed to almost mimic the one you get from alcohol. Aside from her investment in Cann, Paltrow also offers CBD articles and guides on her Goop website.
13. Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg is the wildcard on this list. An extraordinary actress, comedian, and author but not one you’d expect to support cannabis, especially when you look back on the character she portrays in Star Trek. Even we were shocked to learn of her interest in the forbidden herb. How oblivious we were.
Whoopi has been a staunch human rights activist for the majority of her career. In 2016, she officially recognized medical cannabis as an important aspect of female health and wellness by launching Whoopi & Maya, a brand dedicated to relieving menstrual discomfort.
The brand’s message was clear and aligned with Whoopi’s lifelong passion for change, offering safe, natural relief from period pain via the power of medical cannabis, something she believes was missing in the industry.
Unfortunately, the brand closed shop in 2020, citing an unresolvable dispute between Whoopi and her business partner Maya Elisabeth. It’s unknown whether Whoopi will launch a new brand or not.
14. Bill Maher
Bill Maher, the outspoken “Real Talk” host known for his liberal views on most things pertaining to individual choice, is a staunch cannabis supporter, using his platform to discuss and debate cannabis and cannabis-related issues (among others). His show is watched by millions of people across the US and beyond. Highly influential, especially among more liberal-leaning voters.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Maher smokes weed as a creative aid, helping him write assignments with relative ease. He’s also famously smoked weed on the show in front of a live audience — each toke he inhaled openly solidified his stance on cannabis and cannabis reform.
His involvement in the cannabis industry isn’t as direct as, say, Mike Tyson, the Diaz brothers, or Snoop Dogg, but his influence is vital and necessary.
15. Nick & Nate Diaz
Nick & Nate Diaz are two of UFC’s most notorious brother duos, both inside and outside the Octagon. True champions in every respect, conquering nearly every foe that stepped in their way.
However, they’re not just known for their in-ring ability, nor are they simply recognized as the brothers ready to beat the shit out of people. They’re also dedicated cannabis and CBD advocates and supporters — very open ones at that.
Nick was given a five-year ban after testing positive for smoking high-grade, high-THC marijuana. Nate, at a press conference after losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 202, sparked up what appeared to be a hemp CBD vape pen in front of a live crowd, causing people to question whether he was actually smoking THC-rich marijuana juice. A pretty bold move if you asked us.
Nick and Nate’s openness to cannabis wasn’t simply a publicity stunt to get people talking about them. Whether advertently or inadvertently, the brothers actually opened up a discussion around cannabis use in combat sports. As of late 2020, the UFC has taken THC, as well as all other cannabinoids, off its list of banned substances.
And, yes. The pair also have their own CBD health and fitness line called Game Up Nutrition, offering CBD oils, CBD hemp flower, CBD edibles, and CBD for pets.
16. Method Man
Clifford Smith Jr., better known as the one and only Method Man, is a prolific rapper hailing from Staten Island, New York, and a founding member of Wu-Tang Clan — arguably the greatest, most socially conscious hip-hop groups of all time.
This social consciousness has followed Method Man throughout his career and into the world of cannabis. His cannabis brand is aptly named TICOL, an abbreviation for “Taking Into Consideration All Lives”, which is also the name of his debut solo album. This name symbolizes Method Man’s activism of social, racial, and criminal reform.
Speaking with the New York Post, Method Man claims “it is essential that we use our brand to help bring awareness to the social, systemic and economic injustice in communities that have struggled with oppressive mass incarceration and racially-biased policing procedures”.
17. Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart’s involvement in the cannabis industry is a product of Snoop Dogg’s influence and his love for cannabis. Just don’t go expecting her to go all Willie Nelson or Seth Rogen on us. She explicitly states not smoking THC-rich marijuana — she’s more interested in hemp and hemp-derived compounds, which is the inspiration behind her own line of CBD products.
In 2020, Stewart partnered up with Canopy Growth, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. Her line offers quite a large range of different hemp-derived CBD products, including CBD gummies, CBD softgels, CBD oils, and CBD pet edibles (among others).
18. Travis Barker
Travis Barker is one of the newer celebrity musicians to make his presence known in the CBD industry. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, the Blink 182 drummer uses CBD to combat injuries and physiological stress brought on by grueling tour schedules. In fact, he believes CBD is the ultimate healer, outperforming more conventional therapies such as cryotherapy and massage therapy. He also credits CBD’s ability to soothe symptoms of insomnia and restlessness.
It was, therefore, a logical step for Barker to spread the good word of his successful treatment via his new vegan-friendly CBD company Barker Wellness, a brand committed to helping you maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
What’s important about Barker’s venture isn’t just down to his fame. His personal experience with CBD, as well as his two-year-long research into cannabis and its compounds, shows how dedicated he is to you and the industry as a whole.
The products offered, though limited, cater to a wide range of users, each with specialized ingredients designed to target specific ailments.
19. Kristen Bell
Similar to Whoopi Goldberg, you’d never expect Kirsten Bell to even think about venturing into the CBD universe, but here she is, proving everyone wrong. The actress, best known as the voice of Anna in Frozen and her breakout role in Veronica Mars, has added another role to her repertoire — and this time it’s not in front of a camera.
In 2018, Bell launched Happy Dance, a premium CBD skincare brand providing moms juggling crazy daily routines a sense of calm and nourishment, especially after a long day. You can treat yourself to CBD body butter, CBD coconut melts, and CBD bath bombs, each ready to make you feel refreshed and revitalized after a long day of being a mom.
20. Sigur Ros
Hailing all the way from Iceland, Sigur Ros has delivered listeners beautiful post-rock music since 1994, combining shimmering soundscapes, cinematic passages, and loud crescendos ready to make even the manliest of men weep tears of pure emotion.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the band members dove headfirst into the world of cannabis (specifically CBD), launching a line of CBD tinctures in partnership with VONA. These tinctures come complete with 1000 mg of broad-spectrum hemp-derived cannabinoids, alongside gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO ingredients, all ready to take you on a holistic adventure.
It’s funny. The therapeutic nature of their music directly matches the therapeutic qualities of every hemp-derived plant compound found in the products, providing users with a blissfully soothing experience, be it externally or internally.
21. Ivan Moody (Five Finger Death Punch)
Ivan Moody, singer and primary songwriter for metal band Five Finger Death Punch, was once an alcoholic for many years. His newfound sobriety started only very recently following a relapse, a subsequent seizure, and experiencing his young daughter holding him and crying while he received medical treatment.
The singer cites cannabis (specifically hemp-derived CBD) as a useful tool during recovery — so much so, he’s established his own CBD line named Moody’s Medicinals. The brand sells CBD beverages, CBD edibles, CBD throat sprays, CBD water, and CBD tattoo healing products. Each product is inspired by his road to recovery he hopes will help his customers.