Dank Depot is the latest marijuana dispensary to open in Cathedral City and their grand opening today added an extra boost of star power.
NBA Champion and former Los Angeles Laker, Los Angeles Clipper and Dallas Mavericks player Lamar Odom visited the dispensary to promote his brand Rich Soil.
Lamar Odom battled addiction to opioids himself and says marijuana helped him move away from hard drugs.
“Well it was a real personal process,” said Odom. “It’s helped me a lot of ways and other people to get off opioids and so forth.”
The former NBA All-Star is not the only sports figure to make their way to the Coachella Valley to promote cannabis products. Atomic Budz in Cathedral City confirmed to our news team that former NFL running back Ricky Williams stopped by their shop to promote his brand Real Wellness.
Employees at Dank Depot think the celebrity attention is great for business.
“There’s a huge stigma behind cannabis and smoking it and using it that a lot of people haven’t been able to break free from,” said Ashley Robertson, who works in sales for distributor Lowell Smokes. “So when we have these big influencers like Lamar Odom, or any celebrity that millions of people know it’s a good thing. If we have people like them come out to educate, a lot more people are going to listen.”
One of the owners of Dank Depot says aligning the store with Lamar Odom or other professional athletes help get their name out there.
“He’s a public figure you know,” said co-owner Sahak Ghaghian. “You know former champion with the NBA Lakers, former all star, and you know he has a brand that he’s promoting that we feel is tried and true, its a very high quality product.”
Cathedral City Councilman Mark Carnevale says marijuana dispensaries help the city grow its brand.
“At first everyone said, the cannabis industry, is that the way to go?” said Carnevale. “Well every cannabis business, manufacture or dispensary that’s opened here has actually been a plus for the city. Aesthetically and financially.”