Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae legend, to become face of global weed brand Marley Natural

marnatBob Marley’s estate has also licensed the Marley name for a range of headphones and audio devices, as well as a line of coffee.

Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley is set to become the face of a global marijuana brand.

The late musician’s family has joined with US private equity firm Privateer Holdings to launch the business, called Marley Natural.

Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based firm that invests exclusively in marijuana, is planning to start mass producing the drug in markets where it will be legal next year.

“This is a 30-year licensing deal between Marley Natural and Privateer,” company spokesman Zach Hutson told The World Today.

“We’re looking to offer three different product lines to the global marketplace that will begin to be introduced late next year.

“Those three lines are heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains – so those are varieties that Bob himself would have enjoyed – lotions and creams and balms that are infused with cannabis and hemp, and a line of accessories, either used to store or consume cannabis.”

It is not the first time members of Marley’s family have used their name to market products.

His estate has also licensed the Marley name for a range of headphones and audio devices, as well as a line of coffee.

But this new business could become the most lucrative.

In the US, the states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalised marijuana, and it is also legal for medical use in many more states.

Mr Hutson said it is a growing market.

“The UN estimates the global cannabis market, both the illicit market and the legal market, at about $150 billion,” he said.

“We think it could be a little bit higher than that. In the US, we see it as a $40 to $50 billion total opportunity.”

Mr Hutson rejected suggestions his company is trying to cash in on Marley’s legacy.

“I think in many ways Bob helped start this movement 50 years ago,” he said.

“So for us it feels natural to be adding his voice at a time that will help further momentum.”

Rohan Marley, son of the late musician, said they were entering the venture with Privateer Holdings “because they understand and respect our father’s legacy”.

(article by Pat McGrath, audio report by Pat Mcgrath)