Entertainment News | Business
Lena Waithe is producing more than just on-screen, now she has her own strain of marijuana.
Emmy award-winning producer Lena Waithe is extending her reach into the marijuana industry, announcing a collaboration with Ball Family Farms for her very own cannabis strain called FIRST DRAFT.
"After 2 years of developing, I am excited to release my very own strain of cannabis," she said via Instagram.
"Introducing FIRST DRAFT, a hybrid blend that ignites your inner creative flame, allowing you to move fluidly at your own pace in a blissful state of mind."
The FIRST DRAFT strain is a pure hybrid, invoking effects of bliss, creativity, and calming sensations. The strain will be sold exclusively at Josephine & Billies, offering flavors: Candy, Frosting, and Fruit.
Lena Waithe has always been a proud marijuana enthusiast! Her starter kit - the universal pack of essentials for dedicated smokers - includes a Stona Herb Mill in Black Walnut Grinder, and Ball Family Farms' "Nino Brown" strain. Waithe was an influencer for Gorilla Rx, one of LA's few black-woman-owned dispensaries. She was also featured in How We Roll: The Art and Culture of Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs alongside several other cannabis lovers.
As aforementioned, Waithe trusts in the Ball Family Farms brand, emphasizing her exclusive use of the dispensary's products in an interview with NY Mag's The Strategist. She recalled her initial visit to the Ball Family Farm, describing it as organic and beautiful.
"He [referring to founder Chris Ball] showed me the soil and the worms moving around in it', Waithe said. "He kept saying 'yes the soil should be alive'".
Ball Family Farms, founded by Chris Ball, is the first vertically integrated and minority-owned commercial cannabis facility in Los Angeles. The company is among the first to benefit from the Department of Cannabis Regulation's Social Equity Program.
The amount of success that Ball has achieved is quite significant accounting for the fact he faced federal RICO charges and a 10-year prison sentence for his illegal involvement in the same industry. Despite this, he has proven how things can shift, setting a precedent against the disproportionate effects of marijuana conviction within the legal system and outside of it.
According to a 2017 survey from Marijuana Business Daily, 81% of cannabis business owners were white and less then 2% were black. In 2020, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health found that Black Americans accounted for about 38.8% of marijuana possession arrests despite representing just 13.6% of the U.S. population, all while using marijuana at the same rate as white Americans.
Lena Waithe and Chris Ball now represent a shift in demographics amongst owners in the highly profitable cannabis industry. Waithe insists that her focus is creating a quality product and ensuring that people have a good experience with her new strain.
Lena Waithe's FIRST DRAFT will be released on this year's Black Friday (Nov. 24) exclusively at Josephine And Billies, a Black and woman-owned dispensary in Los Angeles.