One of the most prolific rappers and cannabis enthusiasts of the generation has decided to enter the cannabis industry as Lil Wayne announced his new cannabis brand GKUA Ultra Premium early this week.
According to GKUA launch announcement, Lil Wayne wants the new brand to celebrate the best cannabis in the world. The company will attempt to merge the cutting edge of cannabis tech with experienced cultivators to create its own one of a kind experience
In the age of celebrity cannabis the first question you have to ask is “how is the pot?” Now obviously we’re giving Weezy the benefit of the doubt; I mean he co-headlined the first Cannabis Cup in California after the adult-use market came alive. The guy has spent the better part of the last 20 years as his own traveling weather phenomenon with the cloud coverage he’s bringing in. So one would imagine someone that loves weed that much wouldn’t just throw his iconic name on some mids; according to the announcement, he’s had samples and approved everything in the lineup. This is definitely not always the case with some celeb-backed companies grabbing whatever white label product they can.
And that’s not to be a knock on the practice of white labeling in general, plenty of people who grow good pot and didn’t want to brand themselves deserve a mechanism to sell their wares. But like most things in life, not everyone is good at it. Regardless, we’d imagine any pot that made it through Weezy’s testing protocol has a lot of potential.
“I used to just want to get high, now I smoke to get inspired,” Lil Wayne said of his new endeavor in the announcement. “With GKUA, I’m sharing a feeling that I love.”
GKUA and Weezy
We reached out to GKUA to get the deal on the pot, specifically in hopes of identifying who is growing it with the level of branding they are going for tossing around boutique adjectives. “We are working closely with a half dozen of the most experienced growers in Northern California in the Emerald Triangle,” GKUA’s executive team told High Times. They followed up saying the specific names of the growers are confidential at this time but they plan on putting out the details of who they’re collaborating with at a later date.
The proprietary strains they are sourcing from those cultivators is also a bit of a mystery so far. Like many, they are using company specific strain names to prepare for the forthcoming cannabis trademarking wars. Just think about what happened with Gorilla Glue’s lawsuit multiplied by a hundred. It’s going to be ugly unless you’re a lawyer billing hours.
Currently the GKUA is showing off a lineup of three strains available to licensed California dispensaries. They are the GKUA VIP, Hollygrove, and Uproar. Now we haven’t had the chance to try any of the three, they won’t tell us who grew it and we don’t know the genetics…but it looks like pretty decent pot. They used a regular PR Photographer type person who didn’t know how to properly light up trichomes, so tough to be definitive.
The rest of the leadership at GKUA is obviously hyped to be working with Lil Wayne on the project.
“The combination of our incredible products, market knowledge, and commitment to quality, paired with the unmatched fanbase of Lil Wayne, the ultimate cannabis connoisseur, creates an unprecedented opportunity to create a cannabis brand that values creativity and the artistic pursuit,” said Beau Golob, President and Co-founder GKUA Inc. “It’s an honor to lead this company along with Lil Wayne, curating a premium line of products that inspires people and feeds their creativity. This is historic and really exciting!”
At launch the lineup of products will include the flower, vapes with proprietary batteries, and raw concentrates that will be dabbable. The rollout will start with a few select Los Angeles area dispensaries and then across California and beyond in 2020.
GKUA plans to use an array of events to help get hype levels around the brand up including VIP parties, special one-off performances, and curated artistic experiences.
In the end, the goal for GKUA’s team is to be more than just a brand in the sense that it will be another platform for Lil Wayne to connect to and inspire his millions of fans. In the process they’ll celebrate “culture and artistic achievements while appreciating and sharing the benefits of quality cannabis.”
In recent years Lil Wayne has been a mainstay at the Cannabis Cup but his love of marijuana and advocacy are nothing new. A decade ago he famously sat down with Katie Couric as one the top musical acts in the country and defended his marijuana use.
“You also reportedly like your weed” Couric told Weezy with a laugh.
“Yeah, I will stand up for marijuana any day, yes,” he replied.
Couric asked if he smoked a lot of pot.
“Medicinal now,” he replied Couric who began to smirk and asked for specifics.
“I have migraines. I get migraines that just make me want to kill myself,” Lil Wayne said.
Couric wondered his recent arrests, back then, made him wonder if he should ease up on the weed.
“I never think that,” he replied, “I’m a rapper. That’s who I am Miss Katie, and I’m a gangster, and I do what I want, and I love to smoke.”
We’ll see how Lil Wayne’s love of the game transitions over to California’s cannabis industry.