Ohio is voting on a bizarre ballot initiative today that could change legal pot cultivation. That is, if Ohioans approve legalization of marijuana at all.
If legalization does pass, then state voters will face the question of whether they want their weed from farms financed by small-time celebrities. The proposal is "a synergy of B-list celebrity and entrepreneurial democracy in a culturally conservative state," according to The Washington Post.
Small Stars for Pot Farming
The ballot initiative is interesting for two reasons. One, it proposes a new approach to legal marijuana cultivation. All of Ohio's legal marijuana would be grown on a collective of farms.
Two, it is financed by fashion designers, reality TV people, and such. "A random bunch" is what they have been called. But their move is not random. It is shrewd business.
The motley crew includes former boy band member Nick Lachey, designer Nanette Lepore, Oscar Robertson of the NBA, Frostee Rucker of the NFL, a pair of President William Howard Taft's great-great-grandnephews, and about 20 more. Each spent $14 million dollars to underwrite the initiative and buy the farms.
They propose that all of Ohio's marijuana be grown on the property they own. Which would work out very nicely for all of them, as the expected return on this investment is in the billions.
Moving on Up
Nick Lachey, boy band man from 98 Degrees, is perhaps best known for his brief marriage to Jessica Simpson, documented on a reality television show. The marriage was a bust. But Lachey is looking forward to better times.
If the Ohio initiative passes, Lachey will make a lot of money. The Cincinnati native will share 29 acres just outside of Akron with two financial executives and a car dealership owner from Texas. Every one of the state-regulated marijuana retail shops across Ohio will have to buy from his or one of the other nine farms co-financed by the group that sponsored the initiative.