To get new pot businesses registered with his office, Secretary of State Alex Padilla has enlisted the help of one of the most famous stoners of all-time – Cheech Marin.
As Marin put it himself: “Who better to spread the news than Cheech?”
At Padilla’s request, Marin shot a public service announcement encouraging fledgling marijuana businesses to register on the secretary of state’s new website, Cannabizfile. Registering with his office should be the first step for any marijuana business, followed by getting proper state and local licenses, Padilla said.
Few people have done more to bring marijuana into the mainstream than Marin. Cheech and Chong, the former comedy team of Marin and Tommy Chong, made albums and movies that turned the duo into a staple of stoner culture in the ’70s and ’80s.
In the public service announcement, Marin is partially hidden behind a computer monitor as he answers questions from a woman wanting to start a pot business. His face isn’t shown until the end of the spot, but to many viewers, the owner of the voice will be clear from the beginning.
State law requires all businesses to register with the secretary of state’s office. On the agency’s website, users can search to find out if a business name has already been taken. (Six businesses already have “cannabiz” in their name, for instance.)
Padilla said he met Marin at a Los Angeles restaurant a few weeks ago and asked him to help with the announcement.
Marin said he was happy to assist.
“It knocks off a few hours of the community service I have to do,” he joked.
Actually, Marin said, the legalization of marijuana is a “generational shift,” and he wants to help people find success in the new cannabis industry. Marin is involved in his own pot biz, Cheech’s Private Stash, which sells his “curated” strains of marijuana.
Many new businesses are preparing to launch as the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana becomes legal in California on Jan. 1.