When it comes to celebrity cannabis brands, not all are created equal.
Many celebrities who have ventured into the cannabis industry just white label their products, meaning that they pay another company to produce the product and just slap their name on it and call it a day. Others have waded a bit deeper into the waters, getting involved in grower and strain selection, as well as having a say in marketing initiatives and other product launches.
But by buying land in Oregon and becoming a cannabis farmer, Jim Belushi has taken his passion for cannabis even further than other celebrities and big names with his cannabis brand, Belushi's Farm.
“I love this cannabis world,” Belushi said during a phone interview while filming in Pasadena. “I'm a magic chaser — there's magic on Broadway, in music with the Blues Brothers, in the movies and TV, and magic in the cannabis industry.”
Belushi is probably most widely known as an actor and comedian with roles in television series Saturday Night Live and According to Jim, and dozens of feature films. He started his cannabis journey when he purchased Oregon farmland that became available in 2015. He planted 48 plants under the state's medical marijuana program. “It was a rebirth, a reinvention,” he said, “I just kind of fell into it.”
Today, Belushi's Farm products can be found in Oregon, Colorado, and Illinois, with many more to come.
Belushi's path was documented in a documentary series called Growing Belushi, which first aired on Discovery in 2020. The series chronicles the actor and his team's efforts to build a legal cannabis operation, including the growing apparatus, from scratch. He isn't able to say whether or not there will be a season two, but he hinted that it looks promising.
The documentary also goes into the emotional side of Belushi's exploration of cannabis. He credits the plant with helping him on his own journey, saying, “hell yeah it [helps]! These ladies lead you where you're supposed to go.” Having suffered the loss of his brother John to an overdose, he is a proponent of cannabis's beneficial properties across a spectrum of uses, but most notably in treating trauma.
He remembered a time when he was doing a promotional dispensary visit, and he caught eyes with a “skinny, long-haired, blue-eyed man” who ended up approaching him.
“He said, 'You know, I was a medic in Iraq and I saw things that happened to the human body that nobody should ever witness. I have, they call it, triple PTSD. They gave me a bottle of 600 Oxycontin and I couldn't do it. I couldn't talk to my children or my wife, I couldn't sleep at night. I started smoking cannabis, your strain Black Diamond OG, and it's the only thing that allows me to talk to my wife and my kids. Now I can sleep,'” Belushi shared of his encounter. “He teared up and hugged me … That was a paradigm shift for me. It's not about money anymore, it's about creating a safe pathway for people to use.”
Jim Belushi's favorite weed
Belushi said he's used more cannabis than ever during the pandemic, which has helped in “fighting off depression and anxiety like Richard Dreyfuss fought off Jaws.” He credits microdosing, which he considers to be a low-dose edible or “one-and-a-half hits off a joint” with keeping the blues at bay. “It really helps me mitigate that sadness of what's going on in the world and the sadness that comes into your life by just trying to survive through this year.”
Below, check out five essential weed products that Jim Belushi can't live without.
“It's really the best one. I take 2.5 - 5 milligrams to help me sleep,” Belushi said.
Any in particular? “Any of 'em! It's because of the way they blend it. I also think the difference between a gummy and a chocolate is the gummy is filled with more refined sugar — I take the same amount of a gummy as I would a chocolate and my dreams are full of color and explosion and I'm like, 'Whoa, I'm high!'” he said while laughing.
“With chocolates, I think it's because of the fat content, for some reason I just believe, I have no proof, but I think it mellows out the THC in combination with the sugar. It's not an active high, but peaceful, and I sleep all night.”
“I have a strain called Cherry Pie that we call 'The Marriage Counselor,'” Belushi said. It's a cross between Granddaddy Purple and Durban Poison.
“It's only about 19% THC and it's got a great terpene profile: 3%. That entourage effect just chills me like a glass of wine used to. I'm more charming, I'm still articulate, and I actually listen! The great thing about Cherry Pie is that nobody can tell you smoked it.” He mentioned that his wife doesn't even notice his sudden pleasant demeanor after toking up.
Blues Brothers .25 gram mini-joints
“We have these little 'mama's helpers,' we call 'em, these little 2.5-milligram shorties,” Belushi said. “This is the Blues Brothers pack. Baby Blues. There's six of 'em. It's a parking lot joint before a movie.”
“I smoke those little teeny joints because I'm such a lightweight … Our Baby Blues fly off the shelves. People love them because they're tasty and small, they're perfect for Covid, as opposed to sharing a joint. I don't think people want to get that high, they just want to chill,” he said of why the dose is perfect, in his opinion. “It's like having a cocktail at night except for a whole bottle of wine.” The strains vary from state-to-state.
Captain Jack distillate vape cartridges
“We made a collaboration with Select, and man, do they know what they're doing there,” Belushi said of his vape cartridges made with the Captain Jack strain, which was first made popular thanks to Saturday Night Live. The strain is potent at 21 - 25% THC and is loaded with the terpene myrcene, which has a peppery taste and a sedative effect that comes through in the vape oil.
The strain is named for Jack Murtha, known as "Captain Jack," who is a pioneer of cannabis cultivation. He spent more than 40 years perfecting his namesake strain, based on Gulzar Afghanica, which he first encountered in 1971 during a hot summer in the valley of the Kush Mountains in Afghanistan. Learning the Afghani process for cultivating the plant, Captain Jack was gifted seeds by the village elders and he's been growing the pure landrace strain from seed to flower ever since. It has never been tweaked nor compromised, Belushi said “This strain is best known as the “Smell of SNL.'”
Though it's a bit too strong for him for regular use, he noted, “I take one little hit and I'm very creative and funny. It's good for writing. You take a few more and it's good for communication and then you're out,” adding that it's a totally different experience from Cherry Pie.
Belushi growing kit
Coming “sometime later this year,” is the Belushi Growing Kit, which will be sold in collaboration with GrowGeneration.
“I'm working with GrowGeneration, which is a really great company,” he said of the hydroponic and organic growing company. “They have 52 stores across the country. I'm working with them to put a kit together to teach people how to grow at home.” The kit will include a lightbox, tent, LED light, and soil with certain nutrients used on Belushi's Farm. There will also be pruning and trimming instructions and more.
Belushi became inspired to launch a grow kit thanks to his own growing experience, which he said “grounded” him and brought him “closer to Mother Earth.” He hopes to be able to bring that sensation to would-be cannabis home-growers across the United States.
Photos courtesy of Zoe Wilder. Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps