By Ricardo Baca, The Cannabist Staff
The MC’s Khalifa Kush cannabis strain, first made popular by San Francisco dispensary the Cookie Co. 415, will be a cornerstone of RiverRock’s collaboration with Khalifa. Because California’s medical marijuana dispensaries remain unregulated, Khalifa’s Colorado venture with RiverRock is his first cannabis product outing in a regulated market.
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“These products have taken years to perfect,” Khalifa said in press materials. “I’m really excited to finally share them with the public and to work with RiverRock to raise awareness and end cannabis prohibition nationwide.”
RiverRock management said they’ve talked with a number of entertainers and celebrities in the last couple years about possible collaborations.
“We had a lot of conversations and meetings with a lot of different folks, but we really, really got along with Wiz and his team and his complete dedication to the plant,” Norton Arbelaez, RiverRock’s chief legal officer, told The Cannabist. “He’s one of the loudest spokesmen of the plant’s virtues and benefits, and it was a good fit.”
RiverRock’s 4/20 debut of its Khalifa-curated product will include cannabis flower and concentrates, the company said. But because federal law prohibits cannabis from legally crossing state borders, RiverRock couldn’t just ask the Cookie Co. 415 for clones of their Khalifa Kush mother plants. The Colorado pot shop chain had to do its best to recreate the strain, which is “a particular phenotype of OG Kush,” Arbelaez said — with Khalifa’s hands-on help, of course.
“We had to start from seed,” Arbelaez said. “He had to come out and try it, give it his blessing. It was a very arduous process … In the Chemdawg-Lemon cross, (Khalifa) likes it more lemon-y, he likes it more on the terpene, pine-y side instead of on the earthy side. It’s a rare phenotype, but we found one that closely approximates it so he could give us his blessing.
“He likes to be ‘relaxed but energized,’ he says,” Arbelaez said of Khalifa’s weed preferences.
Khalifa already has a couple Colorado shows scheduled (but not-yet-announced) for Colorado on 4/20 week, Arbelaez said — and RiverRock will then host an in-store event to help launch the collaborative product line.
Khalifa’s not the only rapper using his likeness to sling legal weed in Colorado. Snoop Dogg announced his Leafs by Snoop brand, a product of Colorado marijuana company LivWell, in November 2015.