Celebrities like Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, and Snoop Dogg, that haven’t been shy about their love of cannabis aren’t shocking too many people when they join the cannabis industry. Musician Melissa Etheridge and former NBA great Clifford Robinson have been honest about their medical use, so they weren’t too surprising either. But the Oscar-winning director of the Godfather, Godfather II, and Apocalypse Now? Well, you can add Francis Ford Coppola, who already sells his own wine, to the latest string of mainstream celebrities that are joining the cannabis industry, as reported by the Press Democrat:
“Wine and cannabis are two ancient and bounteous gifts of Mother Nature, linked by great care, terroir and temperateness. Expertise making one applies to the other,” Coppola said Thursday in a prepared statement. “As with growing grapes, location matters, and the Grower’s Series reflects California agricultural expertise creating a true blend of art and science.”
Coppola sees an opportunity to help leverage his other brands in the new endeavor, as Sana would “give life to a progressive vision for pioneering the highest-quality, sun-grown cannabis products through sustainable farming,” the company said.
Other companies in the wine and beer sector have ventured into cannabis as they look toward a potential growth market in North America. Constellation Brands Inc., owner of the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa and other local wineries, Thursday closed a deal to buy 37 percent of a Canadian cannabis company. Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma was the first well-known brand to the market earlier this year, with a cannabis drink made in conjunction with Santa Rosa’s CannaCraft. That drink is sold only in California-licensed cannabis dispensaries.
Johnny Deim, Humboldt Brothers founder and chief executive officer, said his small company’s deal with Coppola was a “landmark on how the times are changing.” He also has had talks with other well-known brands and musicians, but said he was comfortable making Coppola his first deal, given the film director’s passion for the product.
With Coppola’s history in the wine industry, maybe it shouldn’t be too big of a shock that he’s entering the cannabis industry, but it is still remarkable when someone with such gravitas is joining the fray. While many bemoan famous celebrities entering the market, folks with mainstream appeal like Etheridge and Coppola help the further mainstreaming of marijuana, making federal legalization more likely.
It is also reassuring to see that Coppola respects cannabis as one of two “ancient and bounteous gifts of Mother Nature.” It is also nice to see that the famed director teamed up with a small, local company instead of a corporate giant. It will be interesting to see which celebrity-themed cannabis products are still standing five years from now, hopefully, those with their hearts and minds in the right place are rewarded by consumers.
Network with top investors and entrepreneurs while learning important intel about the cannabis industry at the next International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019. The event is expected to sell out, so secure your spot and save money by purchasing early-bird tickets by January 18th.