Oncologists told Melissa Etheridge that she could choose between treating the pain and nausea of her chemotherapy with marijuana or use pills. She took advantage of the marijuana option. No laws were broken because she lived in California when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. A new activist was born after the Grammy award winning musician experienced medical marijuana’s benefits first-hand.
Now, Etheridge has released a new album and is making marijuana an even bigger part of her life. She will be selling it.
Etheridge told Bloomberg Correspondent Pimm Fox in a recorded interview that she sees a bright future in the marijuana industry.
“I believe this is a huge opportunity,” Etheridge said. “A huge business and a huge market. You’re going to see my name with a lot of these things. I actually have a wine that’s coming out. It’s a cannabis-infused wine, which actually tastes amazing.”
The singer and songwriter expressed her strong support for medical marijuana in an open letter to New Hampshire legislators when they were considering medical marijuana in 2009.
“This wasn’t about getting high.” Etheridge wrote. “And I didn’t get high. It just let me be normal, and it still does. I have long-term damage to my gastrointestinal system, leaving me with a complete intolerance to acid of any kind, marijuana settles my stomach instantly.”
Though the letter spoke of a 2008 poll showing 71 percent support among New Hampshire voters, it took another four years and two American states legalizing cannabis use by adults before lawmakers made New Hampshire the 19th state to approve medical marijuana last July. Since then, the New Hampshire House has picked up the pace, passing bills during their current session related to legalization and decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Etheridge wants to bring cannabis-infused wines and other products to states like California, New Hampshire and the other 21 states with medical cannabis laws. She explained in her Bloomberg interview that she wants to present cannabis in a non-threatening manner.
“I really look forward to bringing this to the world in a not scary way.” Etheridge said. “Not a drug outlaw way. It’s not that anymore. This is an American business that really needs a lot of help.”
You can add Etheridge to the list of celebrity ganjapreneurs like comedian Tommy Chong, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and cannabis activist Steven Kubby.