The world is most familiar with reggae legend Bob Marley because of his prophetic music, inspirational lyrics and dedication to a healthy lifestyle. As the most famous Rastafarian ever, Marley wasn’t shy about smoking marijuana, introducing its use in medetative and healing practices as part of his religion to the world and ultimately helping to pave the current acceptance towards the medicinal qualities within the medical cannabis industry. Indeed, the superstar singer’s family has partially extended his worldwide image by being at the forefront of promoting weed legalization.
Amid the growing popularity of therapeutic mushrooms and its health benefits, the Marley family has recently partnered with Silo Wellness Inc., a global psychedelics company, to launch Marley One, a functional and psychedelic mushroom consumer brand.
The initial products will include functional mushroom tinctures of exotic blends that have a connection to Jamaica with mushrooms and fungi including cordyceps, lion’s mane, chaga and turkey tail. Later this year, the partners plan to produce their own line of psychedelic mushroom products.
Mushrooms, which have an ancient history of use as traditional medicine, are one of the latest superfoods. They are used as supplements added to food, beverages, or taken directly through capsules or extracts.
There's also a growing buzz about the psychedelic (magic mushroom) varieties, which have a mind-altering chemical compound psilocybin. Some people are flocking to nations like Jamaica for psilocybin treatments, which according to research at Johns Hopkins has “demonstrated therapeutic effects” on some addictions and treatment-resistant depression.
Cedella Marley is one of the oldest children of Bob and Rita Marley and is the spokesperson for the family’s business enterprises. She’s a three-time Grammy Award winner, and an author and entrepreneur in her own right.
BET.com spoke with Cedella Marley about her family’s latest business venture and what her father would have thought of the family moving into this new direction.
BET.com: Congratulations on the new enterprise. What attracted your family to the therapeutic mushroom business?
Cedella Marley: Well, you know, we're living in transformative times. My family, we always use our platform for positive change. And mushrooms have been used for centuries in Jamaica, the rest of the world actually, for their healing properties.
But still, a lot of education needs to take place around functional and psychedelic varieties. So, we felt it was the right step to collaborate with Silo to help educate consumers on the benefits of mushrooms, and, of course, we hope that it will empower people to experience the oneness with nature and the universe at large.
BET.com: I know that your father really believed in eating organic foods and herbal medicines. What would he say about this business venture?
Cedella Marley: What took you so long? That’s what he would say [she laughs]. He would be happy that we're bringing this to consumers and we're actually trying to talk about the benefits of it.
BET.com: What was it like growing up in the Marley household, in terms of the emphasis on a healthy diet?
Cedella Marley: It was all I knew. So it was pretty normal. It's not like we started out eating bacon and then we turned vegetarian. Our family has always had a healthy lifestyle. So this is a natural fit.
BET.com: Many people have concerns about taking mind-altering magic mushrooms. How is the company educating consumers about its safety and medicinal properties?
Cedella Marley: We’re talking to the media. We're all about natural health and wellness. Psychedelics are very powerful. They're very life changing. They're very transformative. And functional mushrooms are also incredibly healthy.
BET.com: Philanthropy is something that's very important to you and your family. Will any of the proceeds from this business go to charities?
Cedella Marley: It's part of our [business] arrangement. So right now, we're evaluating about three or four different opportunities that we’ve shortlisted and narrowed down. We expect to finalize the list in the very near future.
BET.com: You're a very multi-talented woman, a musician, author, fashion designer, and more. How did you become interested in entrepreneurship?
Cedella Marley: I think I was born that way. Just watching my parents always work. You know, I always joke with my kids, if they ask me for something, I say, hold on, let me go get another job. I love to work. And it's something that was instilled in us from when we were young. And I take everything I do very seriously. But I still have fun while I'm doing it.
My father was an entrepreneur. He had his own label. He had his own pressing plant, where he could press his own records. He had his own graphic studio, where he could do his own artwork and print his own t-shirts. So we come from that lineage.
For more information on Marley One including their line of products, visit marleyone.com.