Less Life? Canopy’s partnership with Drake not progressing as planned

CEO David Klein says the More Life project is not high on his list of priorities

More-Life

Drake's partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation took its name from the title of his 2017 mixtape More Life. Photo at right by The Come Up Show / CC BY

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Remember last November, when Canopy Growth Corporation announced its new partnership with Drake? The joint venture was to be called the More Life Growth Company.

The fully licensed cannabis producer would focus on “wellness, discovery, and overall personal growth with the hope of facilitating connections and shared experiences across the globe”, according to a news release. Drake would own 60 percent of the company, with Canopy Growth maintaining the other 40.

Canopy promised to release more details about the company in the weeks to follow the announcement. However, things don’t always go according to plan. (Unless that plan is “God’s Plan”, in which case they do.)

Canopy CEO David Klein gave an interview to BNN Bloomberg earlier this week. He said that the More Life partnership has not been moving forward as anticipated.

I would say that [More Life] has not been progressing as originally intended and we’re still working on details to determine where it goes. It may be something that can’t get to where we all want it to go. In many regards, at its essence, it’s almost a real estate play where More Life is going to do a lot of activity on cannabis destinations. I don’t know if that still fits anybody’s way of thinking, at least in the COVID world.

Other partnerships

The BNN Bloomberg article noted that in addition to Drake, Canopy has formed partnerships with other high-profile personalities. These include Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. The company will launch its first CBD products through its partnership with Stewart next month in the United States, Klein said.

Last month, CannCentral posted an article about celebrity branding and endorsements. It noted that Canada’s Cannabis Act expressly prohibits “the sale of cannabis or a cannabis accessory in a package or with a label if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the package or label could be appealing to young persons”. According to Health Canada, this includes “References to a person, character or animal: whether real or fictional, that are associated with young persons, such as cartoon characters, musicians, movie stars or social media influencers who are particularly popular among young persons.”

Organigram Holdings ran afoul of this policy when it launched a new brand in April. Health Canada noticed that its name—Trailer Park Buds—and logo resembled those of a certain long-running TV and movie franchise.

In response, Organigram announced that it would be “making some changes” to the Trailer Park Buds branding. This would include moving to a modified version of the logo in the short term. Organigram said it would be “exploring options for a permanent logo and brand name combination”.

Not a high priority

Canopy Growth would no doubt be savvy enough to avoid using Drake’s name or likeness in any advertising or branding. As we pointed out in July, however, his involvement will never be a particularly subtle element. More Life is also the title of one of his mixtapes.

Klein told BNN Bloomberg that Canopy is unlikely to drop the Drake partnership entirely, but that it might change. Moreover, he noted that he no longer saw it as a high priority.

“When I looked at the IP that Canopy has on its plate, I will admit that More Life was pretty far down the list of things to get to,” he said. “Make no mistake about it, we love Drake, [but] we’re still trying to figure out a business venture that makes sense for everybody.”

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