Country singer Toby Keith expands cannabis company to New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A local dispensary is planning to sell Toby Keith’s cannabis products, and this isn’t their first time working with a celebrity brand.
Seven Clover dispensaries partnered with Jim Belushi earlier this year to sell his company’s products to New Mexicans.
New Mexico’s cannabis industry leaders say companies have to find new ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and working with big name brands is definitely one way to do it.
“It helps us stand out for sure. For that simple fact that people are noticing what we’re doing, and they can get behind it too,” said Johnny Williams, general manager of Seven Clover Dispensaries.
With only four dispensaries in Albuquerque and one in Tucumcari, it could be easy to overlook Seven Clover.
“Just because now there’s more dispensaries than there are Starbucks. There’s a dispensary on every corner. Just not too long ago, there was a dispensary 50 yards away from us,” said Williams.
Williams says they have a solid customer base, but there’s always room for growth, including opportunities outside New Mexico.
“I was really surprised that Toby Keith did have a cannabis company,” Williams said. “They’ve been doing really great in Oklahoma. They’re starting their expansion now.”
The first stop is New Mexico. Williams suggests their partnership with Jim Belushi’s company, and Seven Clovers’ focus on the medicinal qualities of marijuana, helped seal the deal.
“It helps us just, just that notoriety that other people are coming in and seeing what we’re doing and want to be a part of that,” said Williams.
Cannabis industry leaders say more and more companies are looking for that notoriety right now.
“We’re already starting to unfortunately see dispensaries close down,” said Ben Lewinger, executive director of New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce.
According to the Cannabis Control Division, there are more than 1,000 cannabis retail licenses statewide. But recreational sales are gradually decreasing after a record high in August.
Lewinger says companies will have to adapt to survive.
“It’s a very competitive market, and I think that operators are looking for ways to set themselves apart and try to gain a little bit of market share. And having influential people with their own brands is always a way that’s going to make that work,” said Lewinger.
But don’t expect to find out-of-state products on the shelf. Seven Clover is growing all the cannabis for Toby Keith’s company and packaging it in New Mexico, as is required by state law.
“We have to change to meet the market, and that’s why I’m looking at like partnerships and stuff like this, it’s a great way for us to adapt to an environment that’s forever changing,” said Williams.
Williams says they just finished growing the first batch of Toby Keith cannabis. They’ll have flower and pre-rolls on sale in the next few weeks.
Toby Keith is not expected to be here himself, but Williams says they’re hoping to bring him out in the future.