Gene Simmons and other Celebrities race to invest in cannabis

KISS bass player Gene Simmons says he’s never smoked a joint in his life, but he’s now the global ambassador for a company that’s gearing up to sell recreational pot to Canadians.

In fact, the 68-year-old rock star is the CEO at Vancouver-based Invictus MD Strategies Corp.

That’s “chief evangelist officer,” the title Simmons gained in a multimillion-dollar deal with the company.

Simmons, famous on stage for his demon makeup, large tongue and fire-spitting, will put his “branding and merchandising genius” to work on behalf of Invictus, the company says.

Simmons is not the only celebrity hooking up with a cannabis company.

Members of The Tragically Hip are creative partners and shareholders in Newstrike Resources Ltd., the owner of Up Cannabis. Beleave Inc. has a brand licensing deal with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, who played pot dealers Jay and Silent Bob in movies and animated TV series. The team behind made-in-Canada stoner characters The Trailer Park Boys has a business and brand development deal with New Brunswick’s OrganiGram. Tweed Inc. in Smiths Falls sells rap icon Snoop Dogg’s “Leafs by Snoop” weed.

It’s all part of a push by cannabis companies to build brands and make their products stand out. But that effort is going to be complicated by the pending legalization law in Canada, which will come with strict regulations.

The federal Cannabis Act will ban mass advertising and promotion. It will not allow any TV commercials, billboards or glossy magazine ads extolling the virtues of the dried weed and cannabis oil that will be sold in plain packages from behind the counter upon legalization. Cannabis companies won’t be allowed to sponsor people or events or put their names on sports and cultural facilities, either.

The law will also prohibit promotion of cannabis through endorsements and testimonials, by depicting people, characters or animals, by appealing to youth, or by associating the drug with a lifestyle of “glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

However, the law has yet to be interpreted.

And what type of celebrity partnerships will be allowed is a big question for the fledgling cannabis industry, says Aaron Sonshine, co-head of the cannabis law section at Toronto firm Bennett Jones.

“Companies are trying to find ways to create brand profile in an industry that is increasingly competitive,” says Sonshine. “(Companies) will be looking for ways to create brand recognition by aligning themselves with popular figures in a way that doesn’t cross the line with the new regime.”

Federal politicians have emphasized their intention to guard against the promotion of cannabis, especially to young people. The tension between the government’s promise of “strict regulation” and the industry’s desire to sell products and expand is obvious.

The day before Simmons appeared at the Toronto Stock Exchange when Invictus changed its trading symbol to “Gene,” Health Canada unveiled a proposed design for cannabis packages.

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The Official KISS Poster Book – now in stock

The long awaited Official KISS Poster Book 2018 has finally been released! 60 pages with 8 giant fold-out posters including new interviews and photos of the band.

These beautiful retro-style poster books recreate the excitement we all remember from the ’70s. Posters are a good mix of the old and the new from the Destroyer to the Love Gun to the present era – it’s all represented! Unlike a magazine, the cover has a gloss cover, (looking like it has a thin plastic coating), and the paper for the pages and posters is of the highest quality making the image reproduction phenomenal.

As a bonus, we are including two KISS promo trading cards along with an official KISS temporary tattoo. You can only get these three items when you order from the KISS Museum online eBay store!

Gene Simmons says it’s not really Spotify’s fault that artists aren’t getting paid from streaming


Kiss bassist Gene Simmons said musicians aren’t getting paid what they deserve by streaming platforms, but that’s not entirely Spotify’s fault.

The music streaming service, which starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, revolutionized the music industry with licensing agreements that make practically every popular album available to stream.

Those agreements with the big labels, though, aren’t always good for the artists behind the music. But, “that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy Spotify [stock],” Simmons told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Tuesday.

Simmons pegged the responsibility for change on lawmakers, not the company.

“At the end of the day the artists have gotten the rug pulled out from under them, and I’m shocked that legislators in Washington D.C. haven’t taken the entire industry to task” Simmons said. “Legislation is archaic and prehistoric. New artists are getting slaughtered because they’re getting micro pennies out of a dollar.”

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Gene Simmons: “Studio bassists who play with their fingers live have no idea that we can’t hear what they’re playing”

Music Radar

Fifty years of music; 150 unreleased tracks; never-before-seen photographs… an action figure? What exactly has Gene Simmons been up to this time? We send in top millennial Hywel Davies to find out what $50,000 can get you.

Although he’s spent the last 50 years defining American rock ’n’ roll, and becoming one of the most recognised bass players in the history of popular culture, Gene Simmons of KISS is evidently not ready to hang up his batwings just yet.

Simmons will personally deliver each and every Vault box in person

The 68-year-old Grammy-winner, entrepreneur, author, actor and professional controversialist has recently launched the largest boxset of all time, the Gene Simmons Vault.

A knee-high metal box on wheels which looks like something salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic, the Vault contains Simmons’ musical legacy, containing 10 CDs with 18 hours of unreleased music dating from 1966 to 2016; a 50,000-word book; an ‘In Gene We Trust’ commemorative coin; and an action figure to top it off.

As part of the deal, Simmons will personally deliver each and every Vault in person, depending on which of three packages you buy; these range from $2000 to a $50,000 ‘Home Experience’ package.

The last of these gets you and 25 of your mates two hours of quality time with Simmons at your house, local pub, or other location of your choice, wherever you are in the world. You can also bundle it with one of Simmons’ signature basses, the Axe or Punisher.

The God Of Thunder is in a good mood when he meets us at the bar of London’s Soho Hotel, giving us a cheery fist-bump and proving unstoppable on the subject of his latest venture, plus an insight into those famous basses.

As the two of us munch on a couple of bowls of peanuts, requested by the man himself, we exchange some alpha male-style banter before getting down to the subject at hand.

Gene Simmons, the legend! Do you like to be called ‘Lord And Redeemer’ or just ‘Gene’?

“[pulls out phone] Siri, what do you call me? [phone app states: ‘You are my Lord and Redeemer’]”

Nice one. So, tell us about the Vault. This is your legacy, isn’t it?

“The whole idea of ‘legacy’ does not appeal to me at all. Imagine you’re lucky enough to reach the heights of Mount Olympus and you have enough money to throw a party; why would you Continue reading

Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley to reunite for gigs down under

Lazer 1033

Former KISS bandmates Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley are reuniting for a tour on Australia.

Once bitter foes, the two rockers have patched up their differences and now Frehley will join the bassist for a series of shows Down Under.

Simmons made the announcement during a recent solo Vault Experience show.

He and Frehley ended a 16-year estrangement last year, when they hit the stage together and collaborated on new music.

Simmons has also patched up his differences with former Kiss stars Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer – he appeared with drummer Peter Criss at a Vault Experience show on Saturday and next month, the KISS founder will share a Vault Experience bill ex-Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent in Nashville, Tennessee.

How Kurt Cobain secretly pranked Gene Simmons

Nirvana producer Steve Albini has revealed how he once imitated Kurt Cobain on the phone when the grunge icon didn’t want to talk to KISS frontman Gene Simmons.

Speaking to Nardwuar during a recent interview at SXSW, Albini explained how Simmons had called the studio while Nirvana  were in the middle of recording ‘In Utero’.

 “Gene Simmons actually phoned the studio looking to speak to the band. He had been given the number by the record label or management or something”, he said.

“He called the studio and Kurt didn’t want to talk to him, and he handed me the phone and said, ‘You can deal with him.’”

“I pretended to be Kurt for awhile talking to Gene Simmons. They had a thing set up where you could record the telephone calls, so we recorded the conversation with Gene Simmons, where he admitted basically that he wasn’t familiar with Nirvana’s music or any of the bands that Kurt was sort of friends with”, he added.

“He wasn’t familiar with their music.”

Amazingly, Nardwuar replied: “I one time interviewed Gene Simmons, and he said: ‘Oh, I talked to Kurt Cobain.’”

Albini added: “Yeah, sorry to break the spell there Gene”.

Away from Nirvana, Albini is also known for his work with The Cribs – with Ryan Jarman previously telling NME of how he recruited Albini for work on their most recent album.

Gene Simmons doesn’t know why he’s been banned from Fox News

Daily News

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is promoting a huge box set of unreleased music and a brand of cannabis while his legal team is trying to figure out who got him booted from Fox News. In Nov., the 68-year-old rocker reportedly harassed employees during a visit to the conservative news network’s midtown offices.

“I still don’t know what the issue was,” he told us. “If you’ve seen me anywhere, I’ve fully been supportive of the (#metoo) movement – I don’t understand what it’s about.”

Fans wanting to meet Simmons and get a copy of his “Gene Simmons: The Vault Experience” can do so Saturday and Sunday at VK Nagrani at 87 Houston St.

“It’s the largest box set of all time,” he says of the $2,000 package. However, he won’t be selling anything from Invictus Cannabis, the company where he says he owns $10 million in stock. Simmons told us he doesn’t personally smoke pot, but he’s no longer anti-marijuana.

“I was ignorant and judgmental and dismissive about cannabis,” he now says.