Even for casual fans, the high-pitched, nasally flow of Cypress Hill’s lead vocalist is instantly recognizable. B-Real has been a legendary figure in hip-hop and cannabis for decades. Now that his Dr. Greenthumb dispensary franchise is quickly expanding across southern California, the voice behind classics like “Hits from the Bong” and “Insane in the Membrane” has a lot to say about the business of weed.
Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary spoke to B-Real via phone to get his thoughts on the state of the game and what should happen next:
Raj Chander: Lots of corporate multi-state operators (MSOs) are getting into the cannabis industry, but some consumers have questioned their authenticity. How do we strike a balance between supporting business while staying true to the plant?
Courtesy of Dr. Greenthumb
B-Real: There’s definitely a balance, … but some of these brands that have come in, celebrity brands and big corporate brands, they’ve yet to find that middle ground. The one thing we know about the cannabis industry is people want to know you’ve been in the industry at any point—could be advocacy, activism, or actually someone in the culture who was cultivating. … They want to know that you’ve actually been involved in the culture and it’s not just a money grab. And unfortunately, for a lot of corporate entities coming in, it’s a money grab, and it’s perceived as that, and some of those brands sort of fall by the wayside no matter how much money they’ve thrown at promoting and hyping up said brand. I think you see a lot more corporate entities doing deals with brands with names now to get into the industry, to get into the culture.
Anyone coming in trying to create their own brand has had a harder time. … You have to figure out how you