David Crosby on CNN's Prime Time with Chris Cuomo.
Why are you launching a cannabis brand?
"I'm launching a weed brand for a few reasons. First, because people all aroud the world have been asking me to do this - forever. Other than music, it's what I'm known for. After all, my friends including The Beatles and even Willie would say I always had the best weed. I've been enjoying cannabis for over sixty years - so I have a lot of experience."
"Also, I'm doing this because it’s fun. Weed is fun, people who like weed are fun - and I like to have fun in my life. I have a PHD in fun"
What's your timing for launching your cannabis brand?
"We're ready to go the moment either the banking system allows for it, or federal legalization happens. I believe the banks will be able to transact cannabis soon - because of all the tax revenues being generated in the states where it's legal."
"We've got it all planned out. We have our strains, we've spoken with and met with all the major cannabis companies - and my partner and longtime friend Steven Sponder and I have been planning this out for a few years . We have an excellent brand and plan ready to go."
What does your name and face bring to a cannabis brand?
“Well, I’ve been a serious stoner for over 50 years - so I bring credibility and an un-matched level of authenticity to a cannabis brand. Also, I’m so damned recognizable. My face, my mustache, my long hair have been on all these records for 50 dammed years – so there’s this huge recognition factor around the world. I figure why not put that on the front of a cannabis package."
"If you’re walking into a dispensary and you see my face smiling up at you from a package, you’re likely to try it – and that’s a good thing. Then when you smell the weed and taste it and like how it makes you feel, you'll come back for more."
"For me and my fans, authenticity matters. They'll try it and they’ll come back for more - not just because my name and face is on it, but because they know I stand for quality cannabis."
"People know me as a cannabis connoisseur going back to the 1960's. They come to me for weed advice every day on social media. When the Beatles came to America, they looked to me to steer them to the best quality weed."
"There's weed brands out there affiliated with well known people, but most of them don't have the one thing they need to succeed...and that's deep authenticity. I’m known as a serious connoisseur of cannabis for over half a century, so I have the authenticity that will get people to try it - and most importantly stay loyal to it for the long term."
“Sure there’s pop stars and rappers getting in cannabis businesses, but they don’t have the authenticity serious stoners want.”
What is your preferred method of enjoying cannabis?
"What I do every night, after dinner with my family, I go into the bedroom and I build a fire - and then I vape flower with a PAX 3. I take a guitar off the wall and play stoned. And it’s just the right thing for guitar. It helps me work on melodies. You get hung up and you play until your fingers hurt. I do that all the time. That’s how I write music.”
What are your thoughts on the connection between cannabis and creativity?
"All those songs you like, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, CSN, The Byrds, my new bands...I wrote them ALL on cannabis - every one of them."
"Many of the most iconic songs have been written by people who were herbally enhanced."
"Cannabis has been an important part of my creative process for years. I've been enjoying cannabis for 60 years now. The creativity was always there, the cannabis just brought it out. I smoke, pick up the guitar and write songs. When you’ve had some Cannabis and you’re happy, it’s a space that’s conducive to creating."
Why do you personally like cannabis?
"I like it for a whole lot of reasons. I like it for writing music. I like it for going to the museum. I like it for sex. Making love and making music go better with herb. I like it for building a fire and playing with the dogs. I like it for my aches and pains. I like it for helping me sleep. I really do enjoy it."
When did this idea to launch a cannabis brand happen?
"It all started to take shape a few years ago. I was on my tour bus before a Fort Lauderdale concert hanging with Steven Sponder, a close friend of mine who I've known for over thirty years, and he also happens to be a brilliant entrepreneur. Steven and I started talking about how much sense it made to put my name and face on a cannabis brand. We decided right at that moment to call it 'Mighty Croz' because that's a teasing nickname my friends call me for having survived a lot. We're not stuck on that name, but it's a fun name for now."
What kind of partner company will you work with?
"We've met with all the major cannabis companies. We'll only partner with a company that has a national or multi-state presence - so we can do one deal and be in every legal state."
"It would have to be a company run by smart people with a long-term vision for what's coming down the road - people who know what serious, sophisticated cannabis consumers want."
"My weed-loving fans are all around the globe - so we're holding out for a smart, company with a national presence - one that knows how to leverage what I represent in a quality way."
"We are approaching this from the highest level. A cannabis product with my name and face on it has to be the highest quality. We're not rushing to put my name on just any cannabis products.
"Cannabis companies need to understand the mindset of their consumers - and not all of them do. People who have been enjoying weed for decades know what quality weed is - and they can't be fooled."
Why do you think people like Cannabis?
“The human race has always liked to get high on something. - That’s why we invented fermenting and distilling and ate every different kind of fruit and berry in the jungle. I think cannabis is the best way for people to get high. It’s much better for people than the other available ways people get loaded.”
“People are going to get high anyway and cannabis is a safer and better way than the other available methods."
"I don’t approve of hard drugs at all. Beer isn’t that bad, wine isn’t that bad, but hard booze definitely does real damage. And then there are all the other ones. The pharmaceuticals do horrible things to you, and the serious hard drugs do even worse stuff to you. So really the only thing I know that you can do that gets you high that doesn’t do harm to you is herb.”
"Cannabis will always be a huge part of everyday culture around the world. I recall looking down from the stage at Woodstock at a sea of people - and everybody was smoking weed."
What's the best cannabis you've ever had?
“I was in Canada and a girl brought over some weed and she said now be careful, this is very strong. It was called "Kootenay thunderfuck" and it was so god-damned strong, it was way too strong - I wanted to hide under the piano and suck my thumb!”
Do you grow your own cannabis?
"Yes. My wife and I grow our own weed. It's legal to grow a few marijuana plants in California. We talk to our plants and we enjoy that."
Do you ever cook with cannabis?
"Yes. We bake fantastic Ginger Snap cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies. We also make pot butter to make our pot brownies and cookies."
Who would be the audience for your cannabis brand?
“The audience for my weed is people who are into serious quality and deep authenticity."
"It's the same people who've listened to and bought my music all these years – millions of Baby Boomers, the largest bump in the population curve. There's 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. alone, and I've been associated with the boomer generation for over 50 years. They've got the most disposable income and they don't need to buy their weed illegally. There’s also a secondary audience of all their offspring, the Gen-X'ers. That’s millions of people around the world as well."
"I'm positioning my brand at a super high quality level - for people who are intelligent, have sophisticated taste and want quality. Everything about my cannabis will be top quality."
How has cannabis changed over the 50 years you've been enjoying it?
“There was an amazing range of weed in the late 1960’s. When we started, we were buying weed in brick kilos that were mostly seeds – really crap weed, and not knowing any better, we thought it was terrific! You had to smoke a lot to get high from it. But then, through sheer luck, I was connected to some people who were connected to some smugglers and I was one of the first people to get any Sensimilla which of course means no seeds, and it was much more powerful pot – and I had a blast with it.”
“I was the first one of the musicians in LA to connect up with sinsemilla, out of Mexico. Someone down there knew if you removed the males, you get much stronger pot. And it was a revolution, because we had crap pot up until then. I had it before anyone else had it, so I acquired a reputation. At the time, I had just brought my girlfriend Joni Mitchell back to California from Florida and I was about to produce her record and I’d get groups of friends together and give them a joint or two of this spectacularly strong pot they had never encountered before and then Joni would sing them a song or two.”
“Maui Wowie was the name that the guys who grew in Kona used, and the guys in Maui called their pot Kona Gold. They mixed everything back in the beginning of the seventies. The guys in Hawaii were growing the best pot in the world at the time. They crossbred everything with everything, so I think most of the separations you see people talking about now are theoretical more than actual.”
How would you stay involved with your cannabis brand?
"I would stay involved because I like cannabis and I can give valuable input. I’ll weigh in with opinions and give input based on my 50+ years as a cannabis connoisseur. I can tell if cannabis is quality or not just from the smell and taste. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by smart people I've worked with for decades who understand me and my fans, and they would give valuable input too."
"It also fits right in with how I'd like to spend my time when not creating music."
What are your thoughts on CBD and how do you use it?
"I think you’re going to find that CBD, once it’s refined, concentrated, packaged and marketed is going to become a hugely successful painkiller – because the other main families of painkillers, the opioids, if you do them for a few weeks you can get hooked - and that’s a real problem. And the NSAIDs (aspirin and ibuprofen) are not good for your kidneys and your liver, particular your kidneys. So a new family of painkillers coming on the market that doesn’t have the catastrophic side effect of addiction or damage to your vital organs, that's going to be huge. It's going to significantly disrupt the multi-billion dollar aspirin and ibuprofen market. Bottom line is CBD is a great analgesic because it ameliorates the pain and acts as an anti-inflamatory without side effects.”
"CBD has been a life saver for me. It helps with my aches and pains and helps me get rest. It allows me to continue making new music - which I love to do. I have two bad shoulders with chronic pain and I've endured broken bones and dislocations. I've also developed hand injuries that could affect my guitar playing. I have tendonitis in the middle two fingers of both hands, and I’m developing arthritis. It’s not enough to stop me from playing, but I do have those things going on that I treat with CBD. When you get older, you’re often dealing with chronic pain. Everybody at some point has some pain in their shoulder, their knee, their foot or their elbow and for me, CBD is a good way to get relief."
“I use CBD two ways. I vaporize pot that’s high in CBD to get it that way. The other way is I rub a topical CBD cream into both shoulders, sometimes my neck, and on my hands when they’re hurting.”
What are your thoughts on cannabis legalization?
“It’s inevitable. Legalization everywhere is going to happen - all over the U.S. and around the world because of the money. All the posturing the politicians do, waving their hands in the air saying we have to regulate this and that is all BS. It’s going to come down to the money. Anyone that looks at the money flowing in where it’s legal knows what the truth is. That’s why I believe it will be legal within a couple of years. Not because it is like beer and wine. Not because people should not be getting arrested for it. Not even because the police and the courts and the penal system would be relieved of an enormous pressure if we legalize. The states will legalize cannabis to get tax dollars that they control separately and need very very badly.”
“People are looking at the success in places like Colorado and Oregon. The numbers are unequivocal. The places that have legalized cannabis are winning and they have money for schools, roads and hospitals - today, not tomorrow, next month or next year..but now because this is state controlled tax money. Our tax money goes to the federal government and then a large portion gets transmitted down the pipeline to the states for health, education, and welfare. This particular federal government doesn’t want to send money down the pipe to black people, or brown people or old people, or young people - anybody except old rich white guys. The places that get in first, like Canada make all the money. The cannabis companies set up there because it’s legal on the federal level there so they can bank it. Canadians should congratulate themselves for having a country that was smart enough to change their laws and wind up being where all the major marijuana companies are based."
What are you doing to help with federal legalization efforts?
"I've been an advocate for cannabis legalization and decriminilization for over 50 years - and I speak wherever I can to help the cause. I'm passionate about it - which is why I agreed to be on the National Advisory Board of NORML along with my pal Willie Nelson and others."
"I knew people who were in jail for years for merely smoking a joint - and it’s just not right. People shouldn’t be going to jail for cannabis, and I want to reinforce that to the degree that I can. I do feel a responsibility to stick up for people who have been stuck in jail for it unfairly. Bottom line is I’d like cannabis to be legal - everywhere.”
"It’s an innocent plant and it does no harm at all. We drive slow and eat ice cream, that’s our big crime."
What challenges does the Cannabis industry face?
"It's like the Wild West now. The innability to bank it and the different laws in each state has made it difficult for even the most well-run cannabis companies to succeed. It’s a fascinating thing. Right now, there’s probably a thousand new cannabis companies out there, all of whom think that they’re going to be GM next week. And they’re not. Just like the competing car companies back in the 1950's who ended up fighting with each other and competing with each other, and getting whittled down to just a few. That same consolidation process is going on right now with the pot companies.”
Who do we speak with to find out more?
“Contact my partner and co-founder - Steven Sponder. He handles the business side of things and talks with prospective partner companies."
- David Crosby