Whenever a celebrity announces their intentions of linking with a marijuana brand, the most prudent question one can ask is simply whether the personality in question is focused on the packaging or the plant.
The names that have fallen hard for the pot leaf (and the potential riches it offers) read like the cast of a telethon. Jim Belushi, Whoopi Goldberg, Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogen, and Melissa Etheridge have all taken the plunge, alongside countless others.
It isn’t fair to lump all celebrity-affiliated brands into one box, but the fact of the matter is that it’s incredibly easy to sign a contract and stipulate a color palette. However, when it comes to sourcing cannabis — which farmers, what strains, how often, etc. — that’s another obstacle course entirely. In the case of one of YouTube’s most popular streamers, Jeffree Star, we still don’t have these answers yet. What we do know is that Star is sniffing around a bid to enter the legal weed game.
For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Star rose to prominence in 2014 with his own line of cosmetics and the birth of his YouTube channel. After posting his own music to MySpace, Star released an album, Beauty Killer, in 2009 before segueing into his current role as a cosmetics ambassador meets makeup tutorial guide meets internet personality.
At present, Star has 18.1 million subscribers. He’s released cosmetic lines, collaborated with some of YouTube’s other biggest names, and continues to plan future avenues of expansion for his unique corner of the internet.
Last August, Star suggested that he was considering starting a cannabis company. Though concrete details on the venture continue to remain scarce, Herb reported that Star shared his vision for launching a “weed empire” in Grand Rapids, Michigan following the state’s 2018 vote to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
“As soon as the laws officially change, I’ll be building my empire in Grand Rapids and beyond… amazing news,” Star shared in a since-deleted post to Twitter.
Anyone who frequently watches Star’s videos likely knows that he’s already begun to incorporate cannabis into his chats on mascara, foundation, and more. In fact, Star’s signature line of products already includes several grinders intended for marijuana bud. He also recently dropped a “420” collection of items in honor of the unofficial stoner holiday, which included cannabis-leaf shaped mirrors and sweatshirts with either “How High Are Ya?” or “High, How Are Ya?” printed on the back.
Star’s content has also occasionally focused on cannabis, with the personality reviewing KUSH Mascara in one video. He also held a weed-themed 34th birthday party for himself in 2019. It is possible that some may be hesitant to embrace Star’s potential entry into the cannabis space, especially given his past history of racially insensitive behavior.
As Vox reported in 2018, Star’s past as a MySpace personality included posts where he “threw around the n-word and derogatorily referred to Mexicans as poor.” In 2017, Star posted a video to address the allegations, but given the incredible number of people still behind bars in the United States for weed-related offenses, the reception of Star’s entry into the cannabis market may be somewhat of a mixed bag.
Regardless, Star is not an exception but the rule. Rather than defining who is qualified to legally provide cannabis, it will be the burden of consumers to decide who they wish to support with their buying power. Perhaps the forthcoming cannabis line from Star will in fact celebrate all of the ways in which marijuana can benefit us in sickness and in health. Perhaps not.
What matters is not that the options continue to expand, but that consumers acknowledge the role they’ll need to play in finding what products work best for them. This is a new, wild world of weed.
Where Star’s potential line will fit into the market remains to be seen, but he and his team would be well-served to use this moment to ask themselves what they can bring to this market without taking from anyone else.