Marijuana has become one of America’s fastest-growing industries: The Brightfield Group, a prominent cannabis research firm, estimates that legal marijuana sales are projected to be over $31.8 billion in annual sales by the end of 2023; By 2028, sales will increase to $50.7 billion. It is now legal in 23 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Guam.
To educate and empower the masses about the benefits of cannabis from a business and consumption perspective, Hip-Hop legend Xzibit and cannabis guru Tammy "The Cannabis Cutie" Pettigrew are set to debut their new podcast “Lasagna Ganja.”
Premiering on Oct 5, the podcast, named to describe how the conversation around and use of lasagna is layered, examines “the growing industry that is Cannabis along with owners/operators, growers, celebrities/influencers, and lawmakers who shape the world within the cannabis space.”
“I came up with the title from my background of doing music and wordplay. I thought it was clever enough to be the title of a podcast,” Xzibit told BET. “So the name is everything. In my creative process, I start everything out with a name. In cannabis culture, there are so many layers involved. That's why we call this the podcast ‘Lasagna Ganja.’”
Advocating for the plant is Pettigrew’s life’s work. Her story with cannabis begins during her freshman year in college, when a student who lived on her dorm floor smelled like weed all the time but was the only student on the floor to make the honor roll.
“I was like, ‘But the D.A.R.E. program said it wasn’t supposed to do that,’” she said. “The experience finally took my wall down and once I became a consumer, I was sleeping better, eating better, and overall, I was feeling better.”
“I’ve been an advocate since that moment, and when I understood the science of the plant, I really started spreading the gospel about cannabis.”
The global influence of Hip-Hop culture played a major role in shifting the narrative around marijuana and helped cannabis become more mainstream, said Xzibit.
“Music and cannabis have been hand-in-hand since the back in the day,” he said. “It's always been a part of the creative process and it got a bad rap just like Hip-Hop got a bad rap in some circumstances.”
“I think of all the advocates of cannabis throughout music, from Willie Nelson to Cypress Hill, who are important spokespersons for the people because music has also been a source of rebellion for the people.”
Now that cannabis is a multi-billion dollar business, Black entrepreneurs have to navigate numerous barriers and are often overlooked as they seek entrance into the industry.
“Getting into the business is difficult but one of the biggest barriers is going to be capital,” Pettigrew said. “Also, you can't get into the industry if you have a prior drug conviction, which is just ironic.”
“I always advocate for non-plant-touching ancillary businesses such as marketing, research, and design. Those kinds of jobs are all needed in the space, [but] I don't really think that that's something anyone should get into unless they have the kind of infrastructure for support because it's gonna be expensive.”
Xzibit said that he first discovered Pettigrew online and was extremely impressed with her perspective on cannabis. From their first interactions, he knew that she would be a perfect partner to work with on the podcast.
“I've been a big fan of Tammy since the first time I saw her online,” Xzibit said. “I saw her in passing and how she was advocating for cannabis on her website and social media. I thought we would be a perfect match and she's very intelligent.”
“She's a dope person all the way around. I felt really good and comfortable with having her as the host.”
He admitted that he didn’t want the podcast to be “me and a bunch of guys smoking a bunch of weed and laughing at the camera.”
“We've seen that throughout the industry but this is going to be different,” Xzibit said.
One of the primary goals of “Lasagna Ganja” is to combat false information and change the narrative about cannabis. Both Xzibit and Pettigrew hope that the podcast will entertain and educate listeners about the plant and how it can help consumers live their best lives.
“I would say that it's important to understand that first, it’s just a plant,” Pettigrew said. “In fact, your body is biologically engineered to receive this plant. That’s why 10 of us with 10 different ailments can take this plant and all find relief.”
“Unfortunately, that information is not as easy to find. But if you check out ‘Lasagna Ganja,’ I promise you, you're gonna walk away with a whole wealth of knowledge about this plant.”
“I want everyone to listen because we say funny sh*t,” Xzibit added. “There's that too [laughs]. I just feel like there's been a lot of misinformation and continues to be a lot of misinformation about cannabis and the people who work with cannabis. We need real information. And that's what we do on the ‘Lasagna Ganja’ podcast.”
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