Few musicians have the cannabis cachet of avid toker Willie Nelson. The country music star’s Willie’s Reserve has been a big hit, with his branded joints, buds and an ever-growing list of infused products finding their way into dispensaries around Colorado and beyond. Instead of tethering the brand to one supplier, Willie’s Reserve partners with wholesale cannabis growers around the state to ensure a wide range of strains and varieties. The strategy has helped the brand grow into a major presence, while offerings from Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have seemingly plateaued.
Although much of the success of Willie’s Reserve can be attributed to the popularity of the Red Headed Stranger himself, it wouldn’t have happened at all without Elizabeth Hogan, co-founder of GCH Inc., the company that owns Nelson’s cannabis brands. While she’s not related to Nelson, the strawberry blonde has given new meaning to the term “red-headed stepchild” as she plots the path to a pot empire. To learn more about her unique job scenario, we caught up with Hogan when she was at SXSW in Austin.
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