The retail marijuana industry already has Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson. Is Rihanna joining the club?
Tell that to the journalists who fell for it. USA Today and New York Magazine were among the mainstream media outlets taken in by the claim that Rihanna plans to create a company called MaRihanna (get it?) with which to sell three distinct strains of marijuana: Haitian Haze, Karibbean Kush, and Jamaican High Grade.
Suspicious-sounding marijuana strains
If you’ve never heard those names, it’s because they don’t exist. Rihanna was born in Barbados, but that’s about the only connection she has to these fictional strain labels.
The story apparently started at a High Times Cannabis Cup event in Negril, Jamaica, where Rihanna allegedly spoke to a crowd of potheads. CelebStoner, a marijuana-related gossip site, reported the artist announced her intention to go into the legal marijuana business in Colorado.
“MaRihanna by Rihanna is truly the first mainstream cannabis brand in the world and proud to be a pioneer,” she was quoted as saying. “MaRihanna is blazing a trail for the industry.”
There’s just one problem: Rihanna said no such thing. According to her publicity people, she wasn’t even in Jamaica at the time. And she definitely has no plans to launch any kind of marijuana-related business.
An unlikely story
It’s not clear why major news outlets bought into the story. It wouldn’t be out of character for Rihanna to promote cannabis, but it’s unlikely a celebrity could successfully crack the Colorado market and sell her own product. State law limits outside marijuana investments, so she would probably have to move there first – and Colorado isn’t exactly known for its hip hop community.
There were some obvious signs from the beginning that this was an urban myth. For one thing, the supposed strain names are suspicious. Who exactly is smoking cannabis from Haiti these days? And “Jamaican High Grade” sounds like something Cheech & Chong would say, back in 1979.
Also, there are better places to launch a major retail line than a Caribbean stoner festival that attracts little attention from the square media. And unlike Willie and Snoop, who lend their names to legal strains, Rihanna allegedly planned to sell the stuff through her own company; few celebs are likely to take that kind of risk – at least not yet.
Of course, the idea behind MaRihanna isn’t so far-fetched. She plainly loves toking, and it’s probably unwise to rule her out when it comes to he future of legal marijuana. Stranger things have happened.