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California Enlists Cheech Marin To Help Register Pot Businesses

“Counterculture” is transitioning into “culture” right before our very eyes.

Tim Kohut

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With California preparing to legalize recreational weed in just a few short weeks, Secretary of State Alex Padilla brought out the big guns to help raise social awareness. And by big guns, we mean none other than legendary stoner Cheech Marin, who participated in a PSA regarding Padilla’s new website, aimed at facilitating the registry process for emerging cannabis businesses.

Teaming With Cheech

California Enlists Cheech Marin To Help Register Pot Businesses

At the request of Padilla, Marin starred in a minute-long promotional ad for the secretary of state’s new website, Cannabizfile, a portal where cannabis entrepreneurs can register their new businesses from the convenience of their own home. Padilla said that registering with his office should be the first step for any cannabis-related business, followed by the acquisition of proper state and local licenses.

“The first step is always right here in the Secretary of State’s Office,” Padilla says in the video.

For the majority of the ad, Marin’s face is partially covered by a computer monitor as he assists an aspiring pot entrepreneur with questions about her pot business.

“What about business forms and stuff like licensing and tax information?” asks the woman.

“Well you could do it in person, or you can go to Cannabizfile.sos.ca.gov,” responds Marin.

At the end of the ad, Marin reveals his face, much to the surprise of the woman, but not to the majority of viewers familiar with the icon’s distinct voice.

Padilla told the Fresno Bee that he met with Marin at a Los Angeles restaurant a few weeks back and asked him for help with the ad. Marin happily obliged.

“It knocks off a few hours of the community service I have to do,” the actor joked.

Final Hit: California Enlists Cheech Marin To Help Register Pot Businesses

California Enlists Cheech Marin To Help Register Pot Businesses

The choice of Marin seems like a relative no-brainer, as the actor/comedian was a staple of stoner counterculture throughout the ’70s and ’80s as one half of the comedy duo “Cheech and Chong,” alongside fellow marijuana-enthusiast Tommy Chong. Marin also currently owns his own pot business, Cheech’s Private Stash, which sells his own “curated” strains of cannabis.

However, one person in the industry found the casting of Marin odd. MMJ retail manager Shayna Schonauer admitted she found Marin’s role a bit ironic considering the sweeping changes in the cannabis industry.

“It’s kind of interesting that with us trying to be a little bit more legitimate in the industry that they’re kind of going back to making it a little more comical by using Cheech Marin in the video,” Schonauer, who works at RCP Sacramento, told local news station KCRA. “We’ve worked really hard to kind of pull ourselves away from that to show that we are a legitimate business. And that we’re not just your stereotypical stoners.”

But Marin had a completely different sentiment when it came to the ad.

“Who better to spread the news than Cheech?” he asked.

You can check out the video in its entirety below.

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