WeedMD Announces Partnership With Ignite Cannabis, Sparks Backlash

Published on July 26, 2019 · Last updated July 28, 2020

In May, a lavish GrowthOp profile of WeedMD found the Ontario producer “big on gender equality,” with a gender-balanced c-suite, 38% female directors, 50% female managers and supervisors, and a 49% female workforce. Bragging rights to a company as gender-balanced as that don’t come easily. But thanks to a deal announced on Thursday, it seems they might evaporate in a moment.

Canna-Twitter lit up when WeedMD’s extraction subsidiary CX Industries announced they had signed an exclusive licensing deal with Ignite International Brands to produce and distribute Ignite-branded products in Canada.

Launched in 2018 by canna-bro Dan Bilzerian, a US Instagram star and gambler born wealthy and known for his lavish playboy lifestyle, Ignite has courted controversy with an entire brand built around women in swimsuits and underwear, while its billboards using scantily-clad models to sell cannabis have been assailed by parents in California.Join the Leafly Canada CommunityHearing that WeedMD had partnered with Ignite, Twitter erupted.

Tabitha Fritz,  director of cannabis education at Mihi Cannabis said, “So disappointing to hear that @weedmd is partnering w/ @DanBilzerian to bring his CBD brand to Canada. Why not partner with an already established Canadian CBD brand? Or at least partner w/ an American who isn’t quite so disgusting.”

Brand strategist Rachel Colic seethed, “How can they bring this monster into our house? WeedMD are you somehow not familiar with their garbage reputation? Or the insanely misogynistic and toxic behaviour Dan has continuously perpetuated in this industry? Prepare for boycotts.”

Wildfire collective founder and CEO Mark Spear said of the decision, “Surprising and disappointing. This is not a good role model to say the least.”

Aside from a video of himself cavorting with models at Ignite’s UK launch, Bilzerian has said nothing on his Twitter account about the WeedMD deal. His second most recent post reads, “Just cuz your girlfriend posts a pic of you on her IG doesn’t mean she won’t fuck other guys.”

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