In a deal announced this week, the image of late reggae superstar Bob Marley will soon adorn the packaging of a global brand of marijuana and hemp-infused products bearing the name "Marley Natural."
According to Adweek, an agreement was reached between the estate of the music icon, who died in 1981 from a rare acral melanoma, and a newly formed company funded by Seattle-based venture firm Privateer Holdings. Marley Natural will reportedly become available late next year and will consist of cannabis-infused lotions, creams, accessories, and mass produced "fine cannabis," described as "heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains" that Marley himself smoked and enjoyed.
Marley Natural hopes to take advantage of the growing market in legal cannabis products in the United States as well as internationally.
Currently, four states and Washington D.C. permit recreational use, while the sale and use of medical marijuana is allowed in 21 states.
According to Marley's daughter Cedella, her late father would have been pleased with the deal, saying, "My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb."
The Marley family has licensed the singer's name and image since his death, with the value of Marley's estate estimated to be more than $130 million. The singer who popularized reggae music as well as the Rastafari spiritual movement -- which regards the smoking of cannabis as a sacrament -- has sold over 75 million albums worldwide, with his greatest hits compilation Legend selling more than 250,000 copies per year since his death.
According Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy, the choice of Marley was perfectly natural.
"It was just a natural fit between Bob Marley and this product,” he said in a statement. “If you were to look for the most famous human being who ever walked the face of the earth related to cannabis it would be Bob Marley."