Written by Kristen Gwynne for VICE.
As cannabis transitions from the black market to a legal industry, big shot marijuanainvestors with their eyes on the “green rush” want to make pot seem “mainstream” enough that white soccer moms will forget it was ever a crime. Their hope is that the industry will continue to expand as the stigma fades, and one of the most important ways to make that happen is to eradicate the racially charged “criminal” association with weed.
The problem is that most of today’s stoners were participating in the black market for years before legalization hit the United States. They just didn’t perceive themselves or their dealers as dangerous people who fit the description of a “criminal.” Instead, the counterculture associated with the black market was a community of dissenters who rejected government propaganda and relied on trust to create an underground industry.
Now, hip-hop artists, who helped usher underground pot culture into popular culture, are trying to trying to employ the same entrepreneurial spirit they used to launch clothing lines and liquor brands to take the reins of the legal-weed industry.
Early this year, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest busted into the California weed industry with Wu Goo, a 70 percent THC oil made to be smoked out of their Dynamite Stix vaporizer. The product comes after the success of West Coast rapper Kurupt’s line of marijuana products. Kurupt’s Moonrocks are girl-scout cookie buds rolled in CO2 oil and dipped in kief. Kurupt also sells THC-infused “lean” called “Moonwalk.” Flavored and bottled like grape cough syrup, the purple drink is a not-so-subtle homage to sizzurp.
Both products are produced in a partnership with Dr. Zodiak, an entrepreneur and hip-hop artist who credits their success to their approach. “We just do things the way they should be done organically. We’re not going to take Wu-Tang and try to turn it into Betty Crocker or something like that. We’re gonna keep it original and authentic and keep the fans happy. We’re not going to change for anybody.”