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Gene Simmons Leaves Role at Canadian Cannabis Company

Though KISS’s demon-faced bassist Gene Simmons had a five-year contract with medical cannabis producer Invictus MD, the company announced the one-time ardent teetotaler had “abdicated [his] role” as “Chief Evangelist Officer” after only 17 months.

Not long after he was banned for life from Fox News in late 2017, Simmons made headlines last March when he joined Invictus after a lifetime of contemptuous remarks about people who consume drugs.

Simmons, whose public persona is that of a larger-than-life blowhard, uncharacteristically admitted he was wrong about “the cannabis space,” and celebrated the promise of medical cannabis.

Simmons appeared to embrace his role with enthusiasm, appearing at trade shows all over North America (as his contract required—he was to make 50 public appearances in his first five years).

In May of 2018, Simmons signed a letter of intent to move from his Chief Evangelist Officer role to holding a position in a joint venture with the company to produce CBD beverages.

In the spring of this year, he committed to take Invictus “on tour” with KISS during their “End of the Road Tour,” saying he would meet with Invictus “constituents, partners, and stakeholders on tour stops around the world.”

Invictus gave no explanation for Simmons’s departure.

In April, one of two women who sued him for sexual battery withdrew her suit, possibly as a result of settlement between them. Simmons resolved a previous sexual battery lawsuit from another woman with a settlement.

Relations between Simmons and Invictus remain publicly cordial.

CEO Trevor Dixon said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Gene. He has been a valuable asset to the company.” Simmons, who still owns Invictus shares, said, “I have enjoyed my time with Invictus. I remain a big fan!”

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image
Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.

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