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It should come as no surprise that a number of musicians have become interested in the cannabis industry and are actively targeting weed brands.
Author of the article:
LOOP / POOL co-founder and director• •
January 13, 2021 • • January 13, 2021 • • Read for 3 minutes • • Join the conversation Photo delivered by
The music business has always had a strong connection with cannabis. While ties to artists are mostly recreational and inextricably linked to photos of icons like Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley and Willie Nelson decades ago, the industry has changed significantly.
The natural correspondence between pop culture and cannabis remains strong, but the legalization of adult weed in Canada has contributed to a dramatic cultural shift that has expanded its reach well beyond rock and roll.
Legalizing cannabis has created opportunities. Smoking a joint, which used to be considered risky, now seems less offensive to many Canadians than smoking a cigarette. Popular with recreational artists, cannabis is now touted in both individual reports and scientific studies as having far-reaching benefits in the treatment of diseases such as arthritis, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and other conditions.
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No wonder, then, that a number of musicians have taken an interest in the industry and are actively targeting cannabis brands that they think best represent who they are as an artist. But there is one caveat: from a regulatory perspective, this is much more difficult in Canada than in the US.
That’s one of the great ironies of Canadian cannabis law: marijuana is legal to use, carry, and grow (up to four plants per household), but there are huge restrictions on how it can be marketed and advertised. South of the border, the opposite seems to be the case. While cannabis remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S., there are few, if any, barriers to hiring musicians to promote certain brands.
Outside of my music career, I have a number of business interests. While I am vigilant and aware, I always look for projects that bring creative ideas to life.
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This is what makes Ian Kwickansky, CEO and co-founder of LOOP / POOL, and the organization itself different. My involvement with LOOP / POOL, a Canadian, artist-focused, socially-minded cannabis brand, has very little to do with giving my name to a brand. The ability to leverage cannabis rules – which allow artists to be owners, but not ambassadors – at a company whose mission is to give back to the evolving artist community got me on board.
During my 25 years in the music business, experiencing almost every aspect of the industry first hand, I feel that I understand the challenges that artist development faces. Our Lady Peace put nearly 405,000 miles on a mini school bus, crossed the US and Canada, ate ramen and played every little venue imaginable before the band members could even pay the rent.
The challenges for new artists today are ten fold, which is reduced by the streaming of label and publisher support systems and the fact that many artists are independent and have fewer resources to access.
I had access to resources – including budget for albums, tour support, and video and social media campaigns – but they either no longer exist or are much more difficult to tap into. In the New Economy, much of the heavy lifting is done by artists themselves.
LOOP / POOL can fill part of this gap. And that’s exciting to me.
Giving back to the next generation of artists has always been a mantra for me, and the company enables that support to continue with its five percent return program. In Canada, many cannabis companies and brands vie for consumer attention, but the LOOP / POOL collaboration that directly supports emerging artists makes them unique.
Raine Maida, singer of the four-time Juno Award-winning band Our Lady Peace, is co-founder and director of LOOP / POOL.
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