Grant Kwiecinski, the festival-headlining electronic producer known as GRiZ, has seen his life change dramatically since his days as a part-time weed dealer in his native Michigan.
The legality of weed has changed dramatically since then too, with recreational cannabis use being legalized in Michigan in 2018 amidst a flurry of legalization for the medical and recreational use throughout the United States. (Adult recreational use of cannabis products is legal in 19 states. Medical cannabis, in some form, whether that’s non-smokable products, products below .3% THC, or comprehensive medical marijuana dispensaries, is legal 36.)
A longtime cannabis user, Kwiecinski is today (Aug. 26) once again getting in on the business side of the substance via his new cannabis lines, Astro Hippie and Telescope. A series of three flower strains, the THC-focused Astro Hippie is geared toward what the press release colorfully notes as “experimenters and tokers who want to explore life in maximum color; who want to listen to music that tickles their ears and blows their minds; who want to road trip in a beat up van and crank mixtapes. It’s a love letter to the weed culture GRiZ grew up in, and a deliberate rebuttal to the pristine, faceless, private equity brands that are sprouting up post-legalization.”
“I was always selling weed throughout high school and college,” Kwiecinski tells Billboard. “It was my way to try and make ends meet. I was still doing restaurant jobs at the time, too, but I really loved selling weed. Building connections with suppliers and customers, learning about how to run a business, and s—, it wasn’t bad that I loved the product I sold. [Laughs]“
“But for real, it showed me so much,” he continues. “There were times that I got jacked by other dealers, or shorted or just messed with. I got introduced to all sorts of people in all sorts of places … sometimes really high-key situations. It taught me how to keep my cool, and to also be a good people person. It taught me what a good relationship in business looks like, what a good product looks like. And it’s that kinda stuff that I was looking for in this project. Great people, blow you away product, and fair prices.”
Kwiecinski’s other cannabis line — the CBD-focused Telescope — includes gummies and a tincture. Both Astro Hippie and Telescope were developed with Michigan cultivator Pure Options and are now available at 31 retailers throughout lower Michigan. With this product launch, Kwiecinski joins the list of musicians with their own cannabis lines, a group that includes Jay Z, Carlos Santana, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and more.
“This is something that I’m really proud of,” Kwiecinsk adds. “ It’s the weed I smoke, for the people I love — and that’s you!”