Merle Haggard is set to make a posthumous entrance into Colorado’s marijuana market when a strain of cannabis the late musician helped to develop hits the state’s dispensaries in the coming months.
“Merle’s Girls,” a strain of cannabis the late country legend developed with marijuana brand Colorado Weed Co. before his death in April, will be available for purchase in Colorado shortly, Haggard’s daughter Jenessa Haggard-Bennett revealed in an interview with Denver newspaper Westword earlier this month.
Haggard reportedly began growing marijuana on his 280-acre property in California with his son-in-law in the years preceding his death. He began developing the strain of marijuana with the Colorado-based company last year.
“He was out [performing] every two weeks. He was doing all that in his seventies…. He believed [marijuana] could cure a whole bunch of things,” Haggard-Bennett told Westword.
Haggard may come across as an unusual brand ambassador for marijuana; his 1969 smash hit “Okie from Muskogee” became a veritable anti-drug anthem, with lyrics like, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don’t take no trips on LSD, We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street/We like living right and being free.”
But in his later years, marijuana allowed Haggard the ability to stay creative and sleep better at night, his business partner Michael Smith told Westword.
“The sativas kept him going, kept him creative, kept him getting out there and being able to play. He did contribute a lot of his success on the road to sativas,” Smith told the paper.
Colorado Weed Co. plans to roll out “Merle’s Girls” marijuana in its home state, where the drug is legal for recreational use. But the company revealed it would also offer the strain in other states, including in California, where it could become legalized for recreational purposes as early as this November.
Haggard’s strain, however, will face stiff competition from other celebrities who have gotten into the marijuana business. Rapper Snoop Dogg, country star Willie Nelson and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the public figures who have launched cannabis products in recent months.
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