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‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Announces His Delta-8 Cannabis Brand


Earlier this week Joe Exotic, better known as the Tiger King, received the news that he might be getting out of prison earlier than expected after a federal court overturned his 22-year sentence for his conviction in a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin as well as multiple violations of federal wildlife laws. 

However, whether he gets his early release date or not, the new idea is to tap into the cannabis market. Later this month, the former zookeeper is said to launch the cannabis brand ‘Joe’s Exotics’ which is a delta-8 THC cannabis brand to be sold outside of traditional dispensaries thanks to the legal loophole. 

Delta-8 THC, also known as “diet weed” is a variant of delta-9 THC (the kind that gets you high) that is perfectly legal for anyone to use or sell under federal law thanks to an exception in marijuana laws that legalized the cannabinoids derived from hemp. It works within the body exactly the same way as the ordinary sort found in cannabis, though it tends to feel just a little less potent

The Joe’s Exotics brand is launching an entire line of delta-8 products later this month, including pre-rolled joints, edible gummies, and cannabinoid-infused seltzers called “Tiger Piss”. The brand itself is centered around the continued taunting of his longtime critic and rival, Carole Baskin. For example, their flagship strain is an indica known as “Baskinz” checking in at 30% THC. On the packaging, you’ll see an image of a tiger urinating on a gravestone marked “Carole”. 

“The beauty of working with someone as iconic as Joe is that we can get away with anything,” says Joshua Anderson, who will be the primary entrepreneur behind the brand. 

The Joe’s Exotics brand is a licensing agreement between Joe himself as well as Wayne Arnold of The Wonder Years and Joshua Anderson, a cannabis entrepreneur. While Joe’s attorneys work on getting him out of prison, Joe needed money to fund his legal fight. He sold his nickname and likeness for a “healthy” advance and a stake in the business venture. Until Joe is released, his money will be put into a trust that will go towards his legal defense fund. They have plans to spread their delta-9 legal products into Nevada and Oklahoma in the fall after success in the delta-8 market. 

The Joe’s Exotics line will be available in 37 states, with plans to launch full THC products that can be sold in licensed California dispensaries later this summer. However, the brand won’t be growing its own cannabis. Instead, it will be partnered with Xotic Flavorz, which is a small-batch cannabis farm in Humboldt County— better known as California’s weed country. 

“People probably assumed this would be a gimmicky brand, but we are genuinely going to have some of the best cannabis in the state,” says Anderson.

So why cannabis?

For one thing, Joe’s legal funds are expensive. He also has medical issues and no income, despite all of the fame he received from the Netflix ‘Tiger King’ special. However, Joe is (and always has been) serious about cannabis. 

Joe Exotic has always supported legalization. In 2016, he ran for president and then for Oklahoma governor as a libertarian two years later. His primary drive was legalizing medical marijuana and even passed out his campaign-branded rolling papers at a convention in 2018. 

The only issue is that Joe is under close watch from the federal government, and cannabis is still illegal under federal laws. However, his lawyer Phillips says he doesn’t see Joe Exotic licensing his name for a weed brand as an issue. Ultimately he sees it as a way for Joe to finance his way out of prison. 

“I’m all for it,” Phillips says. “Joe has medical issues and no income, despite his fame outside. Anywhere he can use his name and brand to pay for lawyers, get medical treatment, and everything else he needs while in prison, I support.”

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