Music and cannabis have a long and storied history in the U.S. With several states having either legalized or decriminalized the drug, many musicians are looking to cash in via their own personal brands. However, there is a company that is looking to take the combination to greater heights. “Hi-Tunes” is a company that teams with artists to share their music through the sale of legal Marijuana. Inventively, the Hi-Tunes pre-rolls feature different artists, and each joint comes along with a QR code for a free song download from the artist depicted on the tube. This sounds like a money-printing machine but time will tell if this innovative approach will catch on. What are your thoughts on their business model? Do you think this will be the next step in ultimately fusing music and cannabis use?
Cannabis and music go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Chilling out with a joint and some awesome tunes is a classic way for pot enthusiasts to pass the time, whether you’re playing the songs or listening. In fact, many artists have made marijuana a part of their personas, both in their lyrics and in the media.
But with the advent of legal cannabis, tons of stars are looking to cash in via their own personal brand.
Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and Wiz Khalifa are just a few of the artists who have introduced their own lines of cannabis products, from plant strains to vape pens. In one of the most recent branding collaborations, A$AP Rocky recently teamed up with vaporizer powerhouse KandyPens to bring his very own signature pen to market.
There is one company that is looking to take the music and cannabis combo to the next level. Hi-Tunes is a ground-breaking company that teams with artists to share their music through the sale of legal cannabis. Each Hi-Tunes pre-roll features a different artists, and each joint comes with a QR code for a free song download from the artist on the tube.
“Hi-Tunes is music distribution through marijuana,” explained co-founder Scott McKinley. “We are giving artists their own branded marijuana lines to push. If they do well with joints and participate with stores in our Washington market, we will put out more products on that artist’s line, and we can get really creative and fun.”
McKinley started Hi-Tunes after finding success with his record label, Cavigold Records, and noticing how seamlessly cannabis and music blend together.
The label was co-founded by Mike Brunson, owner of the premium cannabis line Caviar Gold. After several years promoting shows throughout North America and Europe, McKinley realized that legal weed was a perfect way to promote up and coming artists—offer a song and a joint that will work together to bring your high to the next level.
One of the first artists on Hi-Tunes is Yoshi Gish, who is known for his mellow and psychedelic brand of songwriting. For him, signing on with Hi-Tunes was exactly what he was looking for to bring his music to the masses.
“Scott approached me in 2016 with the concept of selling music with marijuana,” he explained. “I was looking for something new, just like this. Records, tapes and CDs are now so slow and bulky compared to our network, but now a simple scan on a smartphone can connect people with my music. I feel cannabis can influence many new avenues of distribution.”
Other artists currently working with Hi-Tunes include rapper Swisher Sleep, heavy metal band Locust Grove and indie rockers Lotus Crush. The company will be adding more artists and product lines in the near future, and Hi-Tunes pre-rolls will soon be available at over 200 stores throughout Washington, with plans to spread to other markets soon.
The blending of the music industry and the cannabis industry seems only natural, and McKinley believes this is simply a new era in the way the two are brought to market.
“Music used to sell sheet music, then records and record players, tapes and tape players, CDs and CD players, MP3 players—and now music has nothing to sell,” he said. “We intend to change that by matching music with marijuana. Smoke this, listen to that. It’s a beautiful concept.”