Missouri has become one of the country’s most competitive landscapes for marijuana companies.
With over $600 million in just over two years of retail sales, the state’s cannabis industry is growing rapidly. Now, with adult use sales set to begin in Missouri dispensaries in February, BDSA projects combined annual revenues for 2023 to exceed $730 million.
With growth and competition, Missouri’s homegrown brands and companies are being sought by some of the biggest names in cannabis to help bring their brands and products to the flourishing market.
One of Missouri’s most successful cannabis companies in 2022 was Agri-Genesis, the company launched Sunrise dispensaries and two flower brands, Farmer G and Notorious that saw glowing reviews from patients and successful launches with industry partners.
Agri-Genesis approaches cannabis from a viewpoint and identity built on agricultural roots and a passion for helping people and communities.
Now the company brings its first partnership to the state and with it one of country music’s most recognizable faces, one of cannabis’ most vocal advocates, and a man who understands what roots and tradition mean to communities.
Willie Nelson may be the most famous cannabis advocate on the planet. A name that resonates across generations and borders. Even as a staunch supporter and vocal advocate of cannabis for decades, Nelson’s appeal has transcended politics and rhetoric and brought support and attention to cannabis use in the most contentious of times and places.
But Willie Nelson has also spent his storied career supporting farmers and agricultural communities around the country.
Nelson is one of the co-founders of Farm Aid, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $64 million since 1985 to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.
With WILLIE’S RESERVE®, Nelson has found a merging point for two of his life’s greatest passions, advocating for cannabis and supporting farmers and agriculture. It only makes sense that the brand inspired by the most prolific supporter of cannabis farmers in the country would choose the only marijuana company in Missouri built on the history of a century farm and an agriculturally rooted family to bring Willie’s namesake brand to the Show-Me State.
Greenway recently spoke to Agri-Genesis President, Sean Carriger, about bringing WILLIE’S RESERVE® to Missouri.
This is one of the biggest partnerships to come to Missouri, what went into bringing the WILLIE’S RESERVE® brand to Missouri?
We were very excited to launch our original brands Farmer G and Notorious which speak to different types of consumers, but we also recognized that there is tremendous brand power in WILLIE’S RESERVE® and the cannabis advocacy that Willie Nelson has been preaching for so many years. We had some industry history with team members who now work with WILLIE’S RESERVE® who were able to vouch for our operational abilities and recognized the alignment of core values between the companies. Willie is loved the world over, but both sides recognized that the opportunity was a natural fit in Missouri.
This is the first branding partnership for Agri-Genesis, what makes Willies Reserve the right partner?
WILLIE’S RESERVE® has always been very careful about choosing partners that are aligned with their commitment to uncompromised quality. It is an honor to bring Willie’s Legendary Stash to Missouri. We have always been hyper-focused on genetics, operational excellence in cultivation and manufacturing operations, and producing industry-leading product quality. When we apply our abilities to the star power behind WILLIE’S RESERVE®, it’s not just a home run, it’s a grand slam.
What about AG made the company stand out as a potential partner for WILLIE’S RESERVE® in Missouri?
Operational history and familiarity between operators within both companies confirmed alignment of philosophies and business practices, but the quality of flower and extracts that AG has already introduced to the market was the icing on the cake. We also curated an amazing lineup of cultivars for Willie’s that resonates with their desire to offer Classics and ttoday’s newest hits.
What does having a recognizable face like Willie Nelson do for Agri-Genesis?
Willie is one of the most recognizable celebrities there is, and when it comes to celebrities and cannabis there are two names that pop up in most people’s minds, Snoop Dog and Willie Nelson. Willie has always been an outspoken advocate for cannabis, and we feel his legacy and brand bring joy and happiness to everyone who has been a fan of his, or appreciated his support for this plant long before it was socially acceptable. We think Willie will be a familiar face to many who are new to cannabis, new to Missouri cannabis, or are getting reintroduced to cannabis. Everyone loves Willie, and we just want to share his stash for all to enjoy.
How does WILLIE’S RESERVE® fit in with the Agri-Genesis philosophy?
We both have an uncompromising approach to quality, brand integrity, a love for the plant, and a deep respect for American farmers. Willie organized the first Farm Aid concert with Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land. This non-profit is still going today and has raised more than $64 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Agri-Genesis’ founder is a 5th generation farmer, and we look for ways to support local farmers and agricultural institutions whenever possible.
Will Agri-Genesis be offering the WILLIE’S RESERVE® cultivars we’ve seen in other states?
There are “classic” cultivars that have been popular nationally for WILLIE’S RESERVE® that you will see in Missouri like OG Kush and Sour Diesel, but AG also created some fresh genetics for the brand like Chicken N’ Waffles, Country Cola, Wonka Bars, and Cowboy Cobbler. The brand will always have a mixture of old hits and fresh flavors.
Will WILLIE’S RESERVE® be a flower-only product in Missouri?
No, WILLIE’S RESERVE® will launch to market with flower, pre-roll singles, pre-roll packs, and distillate vapes, with live resin vapes being added to the lineup shortly after.
Tell us about some of the genetics you’re bringing in for this partnership.
We dug deep into the archives and breeder networks to get the best phenotypes of some of the classics people love like OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Headband OG, and Northern Lights. We also wanted to create some new flavors like Country Cola (I95 x Granola Funk x Rootbeer), Wonka Bars (GMO Cookies x Mint Chocolate Chip), Cowboy Cobbler (Sunset Sherbet x Girl Scout Cookies) among others. We plan on keeping a nice balance of the old school hitters that people know and love, while introducing new cultivars to keep things interesting.
What can you tell us about the launch timeline and what Agri-Genesis has planned?
We are launching the brand with the full line-up in early January. We anticipate a very high demand, so we are limiting the release to ensure we can keep those initial shops in supply while we gear things up to expand. You can follow us for up-to-date launch details on Instagram at @williesreservemissouri.
Will WILLIE’S RESERVE® be exclusive to Sunrise Dispensaries at launch?
No, we have chosen some great retail partners to be included in the brand launch like Greenlight, Verts, Old Route 66,The Valley, BLOC, & The Source, to ensure shoppers all over the state can be close to a store that carries WILLIE’S RESERVE® at the start. We hope to be in as many stores as possible across the state, so if you’d like your local shop to carry Willie’s please tell them to give us a call!
With adult use sales approaching quickly, how do you plan to leverage the WR brand?
We are excited to get the brand out into stores just a few weeks before adult use sales kick in. We hope that the flood of new shoppers will be just as excited as we are to see Willie’s on the shelf.
What else should Missourians know about WILLIE’S RESERVE® before it rolls out?
Willie Nelson is the Chief Tasting Officer for the WILLIE’S RESERVE® brand and these products pay tribute to his tradition of sharing, caring and toking. It is an extraordinary opportunity to participate in bringing our garden to Willie’s Stash and we are representative of the high-quality stash that Willie has been procuring on the road for decades. Where there’s weed; there’s Willie!
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