Cannabis enthusiasts will be hard pressed to forget (if not sing along with) hits like “Santeria,” “40oz. To Freedom” and of course, the feel-good favorite “What I Got” from reggae-punk band Sublime. As the modern U.S. cannabis market continues to shift and grow, associates of the band’s estate are taking their love of cannabis to another level, announcing their collaboration with The Healing Plant to produce and distribute a curated line of Sublime-branded products.
Forbes first broke the news Thursday, and the estate is set to launch their cannabis products in summer 2022, focusing on the plant’s healing and medicinal benefits. The estate also teased the band’s official Instagram account, with a graphic featuring their sun-mushroom logo reading, “Something new is on the horizon.”
“Sublime has its own weed now! I mean, what more needs to be said other than light ‘em up!” original Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh said in a press release, adding that it’s “time to ‘Smoke Two Joints” in reference to another Sublime hit from 1992—which is actually a popular cover of The Toyes’ 1983 song of the same name.
The band formed in Long Beach, California by Bradley Nowell, Gaugh and Eric Wilson in 1988, mixing genres like reggae, punk and rock to create their famously feel-good sound. Their self-produced debut album, 40oz. To Freedom, was released by the band’s Skunk Records label in 1992 and was met with acclaim, elevating the band’s sound over radio stations all around Southern California and eventually earning a contract with MCA.
After the release of their second record, Robbin’ the Hood, Sublime prepared to release their third, self-titled album in 1996 when lead vocalist and guitarist Nowell died of a heroin overdose. The band still released the album, which sold more than seven million copies and featured ear-worm classics like “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way.” Years later in 2009, Gaugh and Wilson formed a new version of the band with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez, named Sublime with Rome, though Gaugh left the group two years later.
The estate plans to introduce a full line of cannabis products, though full details are still under development. Bradley Nowell’s widow Troy Dendekker said that it’s “a given” that the band would have its own cannabis line, though they wanted to wait until they found the right partnership, ultimately with Costa Mesa-based licensed cannabis manufacturer The Healing Plant.
“Our line will consist of not only what is wanted but what is needed to help heal!” Dendekker said.
Jakob Nowell, son of Bradley and Troy Dendekker, appears to be getting involved in the project as well. Jakob is currently vocalist of a relatively new band LAW based in Long Beach, California.
Scott Seine of Surfdog and DKM management echoed the sentiment, referencing the amount of artist/cannabis deals available today, though they wanted to wait for the right collaboration to move forward with “someone who really understood the deep musical and cultural significance of Sublime’s legacy.”
Seine added, “After four years of searching, we’re happy we found this with Robert Taft, Jr. and The Healing Plant, whose mission to prioritize the healing and medicinal qualities of cannabis was of paramount importance to the band.”
Staying true to the band’s roots and home turf, Taft said the Sublime brand will see a controlled launch at select SoCal dispensaries in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and the Inland Empire. The Healing Plant will solely handle distribution for Southern California and said it plans for a similar strategy tackling the Northern California market, once it identifies a licensed distribution partner to cover the Bay Area, Sacramento and more.
Taft said in an email to Forbes that The Healing Plant has already found a top geneticist to help curate strains with the band under their guidance. In terms of cultivation, they plan to rely on specific farmers who can deliver consistent quality under the oversight of their geneticist. Taft also noted that the controlled rollout of the brand is meant to ensure quality product and availability at designated retailers.
In Thursday’s announcement, Taft also nodded to Nowell and the potential for cannabis to help fight opioid addiction and aid in recovery.
“This brand is going to bring you Sublime’s ‘Greatest Hits’ of recreational cannabis, as well as a full line of medicinal products that will benefit people fighting opioid and heroin addiction, a very important driven line, especially for the community of artists in memory of Bradley Nowell himself,” Taft said.
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