Legal marijuana is an estimated $2 billion a year industry in the United States. Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. will be joining Colorado and Washington State in legalizing marijuana within their jurisdictions. Local municipalities around the country are experimenting with decriminalization as well, while other countries are taking a serious look at legalization as well. Uruguay legalized marijuana in a contorted government controlling fashion earlier this year and the country's legalization project could well fail but that failure's not stopping countries like Guatemala from considering their own legalization plans. Ten years ago, the UN estimated the value of the global marijuana market at $141.8 billion, setting a benchmark the legal industry could end up overtaking.
And while names like Kush, Purple Haze, or even Green Crack might be recognizable across a wide range of users—geographically and socio-economically—there's not any single recognizable brand name for the growing legal marijuana industry. Privateer Holdings, a legal marijuana-oriented private equity firm, is hoping to change that, by licensing the name of perhaps the world's most well known marijuana user, Bob Marley. NBC News reports:
Marley Natural will look like a modern consumer product, cleanly packaged and marketed with the help of the same agency that branded New Balance and Starbucks Coffee. The cannabis itself will be sold as "loose packed" buds, oils or concentrate, executives said. Sorry, folks, no pre-rolled joints.
"This is what the end of prohibition looks like," said Brendan Kennedy, the CEO of Privateer Holdings, which owns Marley Natural and plans to run it out of a loft space on Manhattan's Lower East Side. "Bob Marley started to push for legalization more than 50 years ago. We're going to help him finish it."
According to Forbes, Marley is the fifth highest earning dead celebrity, ranked between Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.