Wiz Khalifa On How His New Mobile App Promotes Weed Entrepreneurship Through Gaming
The weed lover and entrepreneur offered insights on his new app and what it’s like navigating the weed industry.
Wiz Khalifa’s no stranger to the weed industry. In 2014, the rapper launched a line of smoking accessories — including papers and trays — in partnership with RAW Rolling Papers. Two years later, in February of 2016, Wiz partnered with Colorado’s RiverRock Cannabis to create his own strain of weed, Khalifa Kush, saying that he hoped his new endeavor would “raise awareness and end cannabis prohibition nationwide.”
Today, he’s found a new way to channel his interest in the cannabis industry — through mobile gaming. The aim of the aptly titled Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm is, essentially, to grow and expand your crop of weed. Once you plant your first small batch, you’re encouraged, through watering and diligent care, to grow your crop and diversify your goods, planting imaginary and IRL strains Wiz favors, like Grand Daddy Purple and his own strain of KK.
On this very special 4/20, Wiz took some time to chat with us over the phone and tell us the story behind his app and what he wishes to accomplish with it, his own experiences in the weed industry, and how he hopes to make weed entrepreneurship a realistic venture for more people.
Tell me a little bit about how the idea for the game came about.
Just as something that was lifestyle for me. Of course I love weed, but being as everyone is moving toward the more business side of it, it was just a fun way to incorporate a love of weed and growing pot through gaming at the same time.
How involved were you in the making of the game?
I was super involved. The design and the graphics and everything — I really wanted it to feel like you’re right there with me, as well as playing something that we all enjoy and love.
Are there any games you played growing up that might have inspired how the game looks or feels?
I think we all loved games like Mafia Wars and shit like that, where you used to be really interactive and have a long-lasting experience. So this game is definitely something I want people to grow with and hold onto for a period of time.
What do you hope to accomplish with the game?
I really wanted people to really just enjoy themselves and have fun, but also experience some things that you might or might not in the professional world of weed. Not everybody really smokes but it really gives you an opportunity to feel like you’re in that same organization of people. So it’s cool, we’re making everybody feel involved in something that’s really fun and educational — you get to discover new strains, and do cool things that people never really get to do in real life.
Are some of the strains in the game your own favorites?
Absolutely. Some of the strains are my favorites, some of them we created, you get to the last level and unlock the KK (Khalifa Kush), which is my strain.
When your music career was first starting out, did you ever think you’d enter the world of weed entrepreneurship?
Nah, I definitely didn’t know all of the possibilities when I first started. I was really just trying to get stoned like everybody else. But then I realized how many people need weed and how many people love weed, and how it helps so many lives. The biggest and best way to bring it forward and make it less of a scary thing is what we’re trying to do.
Was there someone who had inspired you to get involved?
My mentor in that realm was definitely Berner. He’s the one who showed me the most about cultivating and growing, and different strains. That was probably the best point for me, when I met Berner and got more educational about it. I met him probably in 2010.
He runs your growth facility for Khalifa Kush?
Yup. He’s the one who branded it and helped me get the strand going.
What has surprised you so far about the weed industry?
I think the thing that surprised me the most is the amount of people who smoke. They get high on the low. It felt like kind of an underground thing or a thing to hide, but now there’s definitely different ways to figure out that there’s way more people that smoke pot. I think that’s what surprised me — the different types of people who get stoned on the regular.
Do you think that might be because the government is becoming more accepting of weed?
Yeah. I think everybody’s getting to the point where they’re keeping it real, they understand that they tried to hide it but it’s not a thing you can keep away anymore, it’s just out in the open.
Are there any obstacles you might have faced in trying to grow or expand your own business?
Not really in growing my own business, but more in getting it started, in being able to take it serious. I’d been to jail a couple of times, more than I probably should have, over weed.
How hands on are you with your own weed growing and accessories?
I’m super hands on with that. I take trips regularly to Colorado and Vegas. I sit down and meet with people like G Pen; we do designs and things like that.
How do you stay up to date on what’s new, in terms of technology, different products, or different strains.
The internet is the best way to stay up on a lot of that stuff, but also just knowing a lot of people that put me up on things that are coming up next. You just gotta keep your ear to the streets.
Do you have any plans to expand your endeavors in the future?
Yeah definitely. It’s all growing as far as oils, edibles, and CBDs and things like that. As I brand more of the KK, I want to get into the other things as well.
Do you have any plans to more concretely teach others how they can get involved or get started in the industry?
Yes, definitely by being a face, and by actively speaking, being there to coach people through it and make it make more sense for people. I’m learning as well. The more I learn, the more knowledge I’ll be able to share.