Just as in other product categories, Left Coast Ventures believes that meaningful brands will capture market share in the nascent cannabis industry.
Part of its growing portfolio of branded cannabis and CBD lines include a celebrity wing of pot purveyors. The latest name to join Left Coast is Carlos Santana. His branded collection joins Left Coast Ventures’ partnerships with Mickey Hart, one of the two drummers for the Grateful Dead, and Marley Natural, an homage brand supported by the Bob Marley estate.
"Due to our experience with Marley Natural and Mind Your Head by Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana approached Left Coast Ventures late last year to launch a cannabis brand," said Ann Peltz, vice president of marketing at Left Coast Ventures, based in Santa Rosa, Calif. "Our deep respect for both the music and cannabis culture made this a natural fit."
Left Coast Ventures, said Peltz, seeks celebrity partners who are iconic for their work and genuine in their passion to share the word about cannabis.
To maintain authenticity, Peltz noted, celebrities—or in Marley’s case, his legacy holders—need to be involved in product development and branding.
In the case of Grateful Dead drummer Hart, he recommended Left Coast use a strain of cannabis, Chemdog, that unlocked "deep cerebral energy," which is used in his debut Magic Minis product.
The Marley Natural line is positioned as a brand that both celebrates nature and champions justice, along with conveying a message of the positive potential of cannabis, something the artist espoused during his life.
The Santana products, which include a hemp CBD line as well, will be marketed starting in June. The cannabis line will focus on different cannabis strains and how they ladder up among each other.
"Santana is more than the incredible talent and legacy we see on stage or hear on the radio," said Peltz. "He is a deeply spiritual individual who fundamentally believes in the power of people and cannabis. By understanding who Santana is versus what he is known for, we were able to present a strong brand concept that captured his true essence."
Some of Left Coast's other brands are Half Lit, Headlight and Kush Queen. Its celebrity strategy is ongoing, with Peltz and team amenable to partnerships with celebrities across entertainment genres.