Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley, and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of a growing number of celebrities jumping into the marijuana industry. They are eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode now that voters have legalized the recreational use of weed, the Associated Press reports. Regulators are scrambling to get California’s recreational pot market launched and to issue licenses to growers and sellers by early 2018. Still to be decided is who will receive the first licenses to grow, distribute and sell recreational marijuana. Growers already cleared to sell medical marijuana in the state could be the first in line.
Analysts say brands already established in legal medical marijuana dispensaries, including celebrities who partner with approved California growers , will have a leg up when the first licenses are issued. Several pot-loving celebrities are in prime positions because of their fame and backstory with the drug, including Marley’s children. The late Jamaican singer was at the vanguard of the global legalization movement. Backed by a Seattle venture capital firm, Marley’s oldest daughter, Cedella, launched Marley Natural in 2014. She says California is the world’s largest legal cannabis market since voters approved Proposition 64 in November.