By Austin Hopper
With the OPEN FOR BUSINESS sign lit in bright green over California and twenty eight other states, the cannabis business is seeing a flood of new products. Most of these new products will have a hard time standing out from the crowd Fortunately, Andrew Pitsicalis has partnered with Leon Hendrix to create Purple Haze Properites, a licensing firm that is dedicated to protecting and spreading the legacy of the late great Jimi Hendrix by partnering with the best of the best to create quality branded cannabis related products.
“Leon and I looked at Privateer Holdings, and we saw the money that was being made by that company in the cannabis industry using Bob Marley’s estate and it all just clicked,” said Pitsicalis recently as we sat down in Purple Haze’s Sunset Strip office. “I have been involved in the cannabis business for over 25 years, and as Leon and I look to extend Jimi’s legacy weed just made sense. Weed was such an important creative and medicinal part of Jimi’s life, that creating a brand of high quality products that Jimi would be proud of just made sense for his legacy.”
Purple Haze Properties plans include Worldwide Licensing and Distribution of “Jimi’s Cannabis Collection,” and will include three divisions including Jimi Genetics (Division Of Strains & Concentrates), Jimi’s Edibles (Division of Infused Consumable Products), and Jimi’s Meds (CBD topical and mist applications).
“When you take everything into account and think of how expensive it is to launch a new brand just so people know you are, having a licensed brand is a no-brainer. Someone as popular as Jimi gives you access to all their fans through social media for free. And if you are a dispensary that is overwhelmed with new product with no marketing behind it, to have a product that has Snoop, Willy or Jimi’s name on it gives you confidence that a consumer will try it at least once,” continued Pitsicalis. “In addition in today’s crowded marketplace when prices are being slashed due to the amount of supply, you can demand more wholesale for your product with a brand name like Jimi behind the product.
National High International Inc. based out of Canada was one of the first companies to partner with Purple Haze, and had this to say about the partnership “Jimi Hendrix is one of the most legendary
rock guitarists of all time and this partnership should create instant brand recognition for our edible marijuana products by Jimi’s fans across North America,” said David Posner, CEO of Nutritional
High. “Entering into brand partnerships with the world’s foremost marijuana-related artists is a core component of our strategy, and we are honored to become part of Jimi’s legacy.”
Silver State Trading, Purple Haze’s distribution partner in Nevada, California and Colorado explained why this deal was so important in a growing market. ”Dispensary experience in more established cannabis markets clearly emphasizes the value of carrying broad product portfolios across numerous categories. Moreover, in a newly regulated marketplace like Nevada, brand reputation for new business entities will be critical to create customer loyalty,” said Silver State Trading co-President and co-CEO John Sutton. “Our goal is to provide Nevada dispensary operators with the highest quality cannabis products across a range of categories. Jimi’s Cannabis Collection strains, concentrates & accessories offer legal businesses a well-known music icon, his loyal and growing fan base, and eye-catching graphics.”
Other partners include California’s Finest, Zippo and e-njoint in the Cannabis markets.
Purple Haze properties is not stopping with Hendrix branded properties, and has expanded its umbrella to include Jack “The Emperor Of Hemp” Herer, Motorhead, Anthrax, DIO, Pony Boy of Los Marijuanos, Baby Bash, Berner, Nathan Fletcher, Digital Underground, James Brown, Old Dirty Bastard, 311, Hector David Jr. & Charlo Greene and more coming this year...
“We have also recently arranged deals for CBD lines from Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe,” both Heavyweight World Boxing Champions, said Pitsicallis as his smile widens at the idea of the future. “As more and more states and markets are opened up to us, the market is only going to grow.”
Is there any concern about over-saturation?
“The market is growing too fast right now to worry about over-saturation. We only sign those celebrities that we think we can help in this market. Some are national brands and some are not, but if we decide to work with you then you know you are going to get our best,” continued Ptisicalis. “We have had amazing success, and we are already seeing there are companies trying to compete with us, and we take that as a compliment. The good news is that we are already three steps ahead and ready to release new and innovative products.”
Without a doubt Purple Haze’s most ambitious project to date is their plan for a series of Purple Haze Lounges. Pitsicalis has partnered with Isaac Tigress, one of the founders behind not only The Hard Rock Hotel but the House Of Blues.
“Leon and I and some other associates, went to India to meet with Isaac who had retired to India. We spent weeks there, praying in Ashram and just waiting for Isaac to give us his vision,” Pitsicalis said while discussing how the partnership with Tigress started. “It will have themed rooms, private clubs, twenty five luxury hotel suites, and a private luxury rooftop pool. This one hundred thousand square foot complex will be cannabis patient friendly, however the level of cannabis use will depend on state laws.”
The team has raised over $100 million to date for their first Hollywood location, and are currently in the process of putting together the permits. Their hope is to have the project completed by the end of the decade, with plans to expand to other cannabis friendly states such as Nevada and Colorado, before going international with the concept.
“We are building something that is an homage to the artist, and to the people who love the things that Jimi stood for,” Pitsicalis continued with a smile. “I am very blessed to be involved.”
“But you know what is really exciting for us, and this is the thing that the new big groups coming into the market will never get.” finished Pitsicallis, “It’s that Leon and I have not forgotten about the patient. I can’t tell you the feeling I get when I give a stage four cancer patient Jimi’s meds. There are so many people that have had their lives changed by this product, and social media has changed the tide of public perception towards legalization. No matter what happens now this miracle product is here to stay.”