Although Nipsey Hussle is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through his music, clothing brand, and The Marathon (Collective)—a cannabis brand that has grown since the early days of his career.
As the brand expands and “The Marathon Continues,” Hussle’s team announced an upcoming documentary. High Times was invited to an advanced screening on the rooftop of their new store on Melrose.
The aptly-named documentary, The Marathon (Cultivation), explores the life of Nipsey Hussle, the entrepreneur. We get a deeper dive into how Nipsey and his older brother Blacc Sam built a million-dollar cannabis business from the ground up, and the challenges they faced during a time when selling weed was not as popular as it is now.
Guests trickled into an empty white building at a prime location near Melrose and La Brea. After folks took photos on the red carpet, they were led up the stairs to an intimate rooftop with white chairs lined up in front of a screen.
In true entrepreneurial fashion, The Marathon Clothing set up shop in a small store displaying the latest drops and iconic Crenshaw tee shirts. His platinum records hung behind the register and Puma shoes were perfectly lined up on shelves around the room.
Delicious hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the night and there were even two beautiful women lounging in a hot tub Jacuzzi to set the vibe.
As people mingled, Nipsey’s presence was strongly missed. His dad greeted friends, Sam said hi to familiar faces, and All Money In rappers like J Stone came to support the screening. Less than 100 people gathered for an exclusive look into this never before seen footage.
Puffs of smoke filled the air and the lights went down to signal people to take their seats. Sam then took the microphone and shared a few words about what the film would entail. “We’ve been in the marijuana business for a minute, illegally,” Sam said, “We always had our eyes on a legit license and we wanted to put together something that explains the journey.”
From the beginning, Hussle was known for having the best of the best. To this day, Marathon OG maintains a consistent reputation among stoners craving an old-school LA flavor. Recognized by High Times as one of The Cure Company’s best strains, it has become a favorite among long-time smokers that enjoy a heavy-hitting Indica.
The film starts where Nipsey Hussle’s journey initially began, on the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson. Images of him smoking at this memorialized intersection flash on the screen as the lyrics from his music narrate the clips. This was the block where he jump-started his career, selling shirts, CDs, and according to many, the best weed in town. Cameos from customers like Snoop Dogg, give context to how potent this stuff was.
Clips of Nipsey smoking and talking about their dream to open a legal weed shop feel surreal as the audience sits atop this beautiful roof in Hollywood. A stark contrast to the life they once knew in South Central and a bittersweet moment, knowing that Nipsey cannot be there to relish in the fruits of his labor.
We get an inside look into the first dispensary they opened, located down the street from The Marathon Store. This is where they first pushed Marathon OG, a strain Nipsey specifically hand-picked because it was a “pure OG.”
The highlight of the film was Nipsey giving a walk-through of the Marathon OG grow room. “This is all Marathon OG,” Hussle says, as he opens the door to a brightly lit room, “there is nothing else growing here except for Marathon OG.” Hussle pinches a nug and invites the cameraman closer, you can almost smell the screen as we see the crystals on each bud.
As the documentary caught up to the present day, Sam expressed the lengths they would go to get the highest quality flower. “It doesn’t matter the price, we just want to get what people want,” he said as he fiddled through bags of inventory. Shots of him traveling from Oakland in sprinter vans show just how far they had to go.
The audience was left inspired by Nipsey Hussle’s words from the song “Perfect Ten”:
“That’s why I call my thing The Marathon (yeah)
Because I, I’m not gon’ lie and portray, um, this ultimate poise
Like I been, had it figured out
Nah, I just didn’t quit”
The song faded into the background and the audience gave a round of applause. Nipsey’s dad took the microphone and shared a few words to express how hard Sam worked to make money for their family. “I don’t know how he [Sam] got into this, he doesn’t even smoke, but he looks at it and smells it and he knows better than the people that do smoke,” he said, making the crowd burst into laughter.
This documentary is but a slice of Nipsey Hussle’s legacy and is stamped in time for the cannabis industry as laws continue to change across the country. Entrepreneurs of any business can take inspiration from Nipsey’s ability to adapt to his circumstance. His journey exemplifies how difficult it is for people of color to break into the legal cannabis business, even if you are an award-winning musician.
Today, The Marathon (Collective) in Canoga Park is a one-stop shop for a variety of THC and CBD products. Their rewards program allows customers to save on future purchases for several different brands. However, their Marathon OG is a must-try but my personal favorite is the Uncle Sam OG.
The documentary officially drops on Friday, May 20th. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of The Marathon Store on Melrose and follow The Marathon Clothing for more information.
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