The long-awaited Marley Natural cannabis brand launched today. Privateer Holdings, which announced its deal with Bob Marley’s family in late 2014, announced several different products a day in front of the legendary performer’s birthday. Marley Natural’s inaugural product line includes:
- Four categories of all-natural, locally-sourced, sun-grown cannabis flower and oil;
- A naturally-derived line of body care products that blend the moisturizing power of hemp seed oil with Jamaican botanicals;
- A collection of smoking, storage and preparation accessories made from sustainably grown American Black Walnut wood and heat-resistant, hand-blown glass.
The launch of the brand has attracted significant mainstream interest and is meeting initially with somewhat mixed reviews. On the one hand, Marjon Carlos, who writes in Vogue, and Margaret Rhodes, who writes in Wired, point to the aesthetics and quality of the products. Carlos focuses on the body care products, while Rhodes explores the accessories.
At the same time, other observers, like Joel Warner, who writes in the International Business Times, and Amar Toor, who writes in The Verge, express some concerns. Toor explains the views of Professor Mike Alleyene, who believes that there is an inherent conflict created by “appropriating Rastafarian culture without direct benefit to Jamaica.” Warner expresses similar issues but also questions the entire notion of celebrity branding.
Kim Bellware, a reporter for Huffington Post, interviewed Zack Huston from Privateer Holdings and Tahira Rehmatullah, general manager of Marley Natural, providing some additional details about the launch. A Marley Natural magazine that will accompany the products reinforces the idea that it is not just a cannabis brand but also a lifestyle brand.