Jim Belushi, actor brother of the late John Belushi, has revealed how he created his own TV show to get round cannabis advertising rules in the US.
Despite being legal in many states, cannabis remains illegal at a federal level, with a national advertising ban also in place.
In a session titled ‘The Ultimate Disruption’ at the iab Brand Disruption Summit 2020 this week, Belushi told delegates how he has built his signature brands, Belushi’s Secret Stash, Captain Jack’s, Good Ugly Weed and the Blues Brothers, in a country where you can’t nationally advertise cannabis.
Belushi (pictured) said: “Branding and marketing are really simple. You need to have a relationship with the consumer. Blues Brothers has an emotional connection. It’s music, it’s mischief and it’s a mission from god with the pathway to healing that cannabis provides. I believe in the medicine of this plant.
“I’m creating a brand that helps people heal sleeplessness, helplessness, hopelessness, seizures, PTSD and opiate addiction,” said Belushi, adding he is targeting ‘the regular consumer’ with the Blues Brothers brand.
“There’s no brand for older people who are coming back to it and people who need it for medicine,” he added.
Belushi said that to overcome the barriers to national promotion, he created the TV show ‘Growing Belushi’, a new series that airs on the Discovery Channel in the US.
“The TV show is not about getting stoned. It’s entertaining and I put people through an education. Baby Boomers can see it’s clean and natural. It’s about creating confidence and safety in cannabis,” said Belushi.
“I fell into it [growing cannabis] by accident. I bought 80 acres of land and I thought ‘what do we do here?’ Cannabis is legal in Oregon so I thought ‘let’s do agriculture’. I consider this college. I have done four years learning how to grow it and my Masters thesis is this television show.
“When I said I wanted to make the TV show, my agent was worried, my wife thought I wouldn’t get any more acting jobs and my daughter thought it was hip,” said Belushi.