Last month Drake began teasing a mysterious project by distributing free flower bouquets emblazoned with the words “More Life” across Toronto. Having invested in Esports, whisky, apparel and television, the internet was ablaze with speculations as to what Drizzy was up to next. Two days later, it was officially announced that More Life Growth Co was a cannabis lifestyle brand “centered around wellness, discovery, and overall personal growth”.
Drizzy’s latest foray mimics the growing number of celebs getting in on the booming cannabis industry. From Seth Rogen’s Houseplant cannabis brand to Snoop’s potent Leafs By Snoop, and Martha Stewart’s soon-to-be launched CBD animal health care products, these famous personalities are trying to this lucrative industry – one that’s projected to be worth a staggering $66.3 billion by 2025.
Drake, Martha Stewart, Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg … apart from being your dream four dinner party guests, they also share the biggest collaborator you’ve never heard of. Canopy Growth is a Canadian corporation that in April 2019 became the first cannabis company to be valued at over $1 billion – a feat they achieved in just five and a half years.
What began in 2013 as a small company called Tweed that sold medical marijuanna from a small production site in Smiths Falls has gone on to be a multi-brand powerhouse that operates in 16 countries. While Tweed is still alive and kicking, it’s now exists alongside other brands (including the famous aforementioned ganjapreneurs’) under Canopy Growth’s parent company.
But how did they become the biggest cannabis company in the world? One that has partners with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, earning big bucks while remaining under the radar. The Face phoned up the company’s Vice President Jordan Sinclair to get the scoop.
Do you smoke?
I’ve been a longtime consumer of cannabis and came up in the ’90s. I’m between the age where you could call me a Gen X or a millennial and cannabis culture was really a big thing. Let’s just say I was really excited to see Pearl Jam have announced a European tour.
Why do you think Canopy Growth got so big?
We didn’t sell medical marijuana as a pharmaceutical product. Many of our competitors tried to pretend they were a pharmaceutical company but people don’t want that. People who end up using cannabis are doing so as a last resort, not because their doctors prescribed it to them. Because of that we’re attracting people who were rebellious so our Tweed brand really spoke to them.
What we’re doing is a once in a generation business opportunity. We’re really lucky to be focussing on a product that’s got proven market demand but not proven legal market demand and whoever works the hardest gets the biggest slice of this growing pie.
How did the partnerships with all these celebs come about?
The first one was with Snoop Dogg and that one literally came from the contact us page of the website … We thought it was a joke at first but after some due diligence realised it was the real deal.
His team introduced us to Martha Stewart. That partnership is still early stages but it’s coming along quite well. With Drake the Toronto connection was what made it happen. We had someone that worked for us that had a friend in his circle. Sat down and realised we had a production facility on the outskirts of Toronto that we weren’t doing enough to market as a local part of the story.
When we were spitballing years ago who our number one would be, Seth’s name was on the top of the list. So for that to come true was really pretty unbelievable.
How do each of the different cannabis products relate to the individual’s personalities?
For Snoop he’s looking for potency, so kushes are common.
When I think about Seth’s products, the Sativa we sell under his name is sour diesel and it’s a really strong genetic. The description of the scent is in the name, it’s a sour‑y diesel‑y smell and it’s an acquired taste and it’s definitely a stand-out, just like Seth. He also has grapefruit flavoured drinks that are designed for people who consume cannabis at any time of the day, which is similar to Seth’s personal consumption habits.
With Martha it’s less about THC and cannabis. We’ve got an animal health division, for example. But she’s true to form, last time I spent any time with her she asked me how I was doing and told me that she found a great new way to hard boil an egg, the secret is you have to steam it instead of boiling it – I told my mum and she agrees.
With Drake’s product, the biggest aspect of it that stands out is that there’s a surprise factor. You think about certain high profile individuals and cannabis comes to mind straight away. I don’t think that’s true about Drake. There’s a surprise element to that that’s really palpable so we’re playing on that. With him you’ll see it being part of a broader self wellness campaign as that’s what he’s about at the moment.
How do you see the cannabis industry changing in the next 10 years?
In the United States cannabis drinks make up 1 per cent of the total pie. Flower is definitely still king, and inhaling cannabinoids is how most people consume weed. But we applied a ton of R&D to a point where we can distill cannabis and put it in a beverage and have a rapid onset.
In society alcohol is everywhere – it’s an integral part of Western culture. We think that if we can mimic the onset time and the serving size that people already know in beverage culture but present it with cannabis as the main ingredient we can disrupt the beverage industry.
Our main goal is to insert a single serving of cannabis in a drink, so someone could have one but if they were going to have a big night, they would have five or six. Similar format, similar product but with a mood altering outcome that has way lower health impacts than alcohol on society today.