Snoop deal takes Tweed's global presence 'up another notch,' says Linton

Tom Pechloff
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Tweed Marijuana’s new deal with rapper Snoop Dogg to grant the company exclusive rights to some of his content and brands was 18 months in the making, Tweed CEO Bruce Linton said.

Snoop Dogg is the latest shareholder of Tweed Marijuana.

“You don’t just walk up to Snoop and say, ‘Hey man, here’s a shirt. Do you want to put it on?’" Mr. Linton said in an interview with OBJ.

He said the negotiations included “home and away visits” to make sure both sides got what they wanted from the three-year deal announced last week, which has an option to be renewed for another two years.

For his part, the California-based rapper, who has written more than a few lyrics about marijuana over the years, will receive cash and company stock. What Tweed wanted in return was pretty straightforward.

“What we wanted was him,” Mr. Linton said. “There’s no other … living person who represents the crossroad of marijuana, music, sports, culture as he does and has the marketing perspective to know how to make it happen.”

Mr. Linton said the global media coverage of the deal takes Tweed’s profile “up another notch,” but he didn’t want to estimate what that exposure could be worth to the Smiths Falls-based company.

“What’s the global marijuana industry worth and what’s being ever more clearly No. 1 worth? I think it’s worth a lot more than our current market cap,” he said.

Mr. Linton said Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr., has evolved into much more than a hip-hop artist. He owns his own company, LBC Holdings, launched his own cannabis line in Colorado in November and has a marijuana-focused venture capital fund named Casa Verde Capital.

“What this guy is, is he is a globally-known entrepreneur. He’s got his principles in terms of how he wants to be seen as an entrepreneur,” Mr. Linton said, adding the artist’s management team is “top-educated.”

In what is likely a bit of an understatement, Mr. Linton called it a “pretty big deal.” Snoop Dogg had his choice of companies with which to partner, he added.

“The reason he’s a global brand is he’s a really smart guy about managing with whom he associates, how he associates and how it gets rolled out,” said Mr. Linton. “They had to pick us as much or more than we had to pick them.”

He said it was important to announce the deal when Snoop Dogg was in Toronto to take in festivities surrounding the National Basketball Association’s All-Star game this past weekend.

“It’s not every day that Snoop is wearing a Tweed shirt branded out for Smiths Falls going all around Toronto,” Mr. Linton said, adding that “visibility opportunities” are part of the agreement.

With Snoop Dogg now a shareholder of Canopy Growth Corp., Tweed’s parent company, Mr. Linton said he hopes one of those public appearances could be at an annual shareholder meeting.

“We’ll hang our events around his other events and that’s kind of the way that it works for his visibility. You can imagine there’s an awful lot of people pawing and clawing to have his time,” he said.

Organizations: LBC Holdings, National Basketball Association, Canopy Growth

Geographic location: Toronto, Colorado, Smiths Falls

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