Article by Steve Bloom, Bilboard
Melissa Etheridge is diving headlong into the marijuana business. Her company, Etheridge Farms, will soon be making cannabis products available for California medical patients.
“I’m right in the process of branding,” she tells Billboard. “There’s a balm that’s so good for muscles and arthritis. I have my own smoke, some edibles and some [oil] cartridges. I’m really just entering the market with what I’ve learned in the last 10 years about cannabis in wanting to bring a product to America that is focused on health and on wellness and how important this plant is and used to be in our medicinal system. Seventy years ago it was on pharmacy shelves, now it’s time to get back to that; to understand plant medicine. That’s really where I want to enter this market in — is for the person who is looking to unwind at night and not have a couple of drinks and feel like crap in the morning. Maybe this is an alternative, maybe I can wind down this way. And wow, maybe this topical actually helps with this inflammation. I just feel really strongly about the medicinal aspects of cannabis.”
Which is completely understandable. The singer/songwriter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Twelve years later, she’s cancer-free, in large part due to her use of marijuana.
“I believe anybody who smokes cannabis is using it medicinally, whether they consider it so or not,” she says. “If it’s my means of relaxing and unplugging and de-stressing at the end of the day, who’s to say that’s not good medicine? Isn’t that what you do when you take your Ambiens and your Valiums and stuff? It’s the same thing. My stress level and all the things I felt contributed to my cancer 12 years ago, I absolutely treat them everyday by smoking cannabis and keeping a balance in my life.”
In addition to her canna-business, which she hopes to launch by the end of the year in dispensaries in Oakland, San Jose and Santa Cruz, Etheridge is readying for the Oct. 7 release of her 14th studio album, MEmphis Rock and Soul, which is a tribute to the now defunct Stax Records (and it’s actually being released on the Stax label).