Someone might want to tell the folks at Invictus MD Strategies Corp. that they’ve got the wrong guy.
The Vancouver-based firm, responsible for backing such licensed producers as Acreage Pharms Ltd., AB Laboratories Inc., and Future Harvest, announced on Wednesday that it had appointed music legend and media mogul Gene Simmons as its “chief evangelist officer”.
“Gene Simmons is a branding and merchandising genius, who not only created one of the most iconic bands of all time, but has spent decades building successful brands internationally in various industries,” said Dan Kriznic, Chairman and CEO of Invictus, in a news release.
Simmons’s role at the firm will involve providing marketing counsel, serving as a spokesperson in the media, attending public appearances, and participating in investor meetings.
While the KISS vocalist-bassist might have a rich history in branding and merchandising, it’s hard not to notice the giant, face-painted elephant in the room: Simmons doesn’t use cannabis and has abstained from alcohol and drugs his whole life.
That might be hard to believe given the on-stage antics of his former act, but take it from Simmons’s son, Nick, who describes his father’s aversion to drugs in this VICE story:
“My father prides himself (read: brags about it to anyone who asks) on never smoking, drinking, or getting high in his life—save for one incident when some ‘special’ brownies were mistaken for… well, normal brownies,” Nick writes. “He is still, to this day, profoundly anti-drug.”
That was in June 2015. So what has changed?
By our account, not a whole lot: As recently as September 2017, Simmons told Rolling Stone that he expected his children to abstain from all drugs—and if they wouldn’t, he’d kick them out and remove any hope they might have for a Gene Simmons-sized inheritance:
“One is, you’re not allowed to get high or get drunk or smoke cigarettes—can’t do that. If you want to, I want to have a discussion… If you transgress, if you go against my commandments, you will find yourself in a desert camp digging holes, written out of the estate and the will,” he told the magazine.
On Twitter, loyal followers were quick to call out the rock star for being hypocritical.
“Gene you’ve always been anti-drugs. What happened?” wrote one follower in a reply to a news story about the announcement, posted on Simmons’s Twitter feed.
Hmm…whole life and career against drugs. Hypocrite or Sell Out? Love Kiss. Pot should be legal.— Donald Harrison (@DroverHDTX) March 16, 2018
But as numerous police officers and former government officials already know, there’s value in changing your tune when it comes to cannabis. Simmons isn’t the first to learn this lesson, and he certainly won’t be the last.