With many countries legalizing the selling of cannabis, more and more celebrities are entering the highly lucrative market. And the latest to join the trend is actor Jaleel White, better known as the former child star who played the popular character of Steve Urkel on Family Matters. He has launched a new cannabis brand called ItsPurpl, which is a cannabis line that will feature diverse variants of the fire purple weed strain called Purple Urkle.
The actor-turned-entrepreneur has announced the launch in a collaboration with 710 Labs, a renowned marijuana dispensary. And apart from launching ItsPurpl, White is even set to launch a brand new strain named Stefan after the charming alter-ego of Steve Urkel in Family Matters.
In an interview with Forbes, Jaleel White shared that he had been wanting to get in the cannabis business for more than five years, especially since many of his friends and family members had sent me bootlegged pictures of him printed on cannabis products in dispensaries across California. Initially, seeing his picture and hearing that a cannabis strain is named after Family Matters’ Steve Urkel was very flattering but it got annoying pretty soon as people continued to use his name and those near to him kept reminding him about it.
But when he sat to think about it rationally, he found that no brand or celebrity endorses the very popular fire purple weed. And that’s when the idea struck him- if no big company is claiming it, why doesn’t he launch the cannabis product named after Steve Urkel?
But it was not an easy task as for a few months after he had let it known that he was interested in the cannabis market, a new businessman would crop up with ideas that were “money-minded” and “very exploitative” of the legacy created by Steve Urkel and Family Matters. It was when one of his childhood friends guided him that White understood how to go about launching this new business.
Brad Melshenker, the founder of 710 labs, shared how he had met White on a flight and bonded with each other over their shared passion when it comes to cannabis. As described by Melshenker, 710 had never run after celebrity endorsements as their major aim was to give the best quality cannabis and nothing else. But after he met White and they connected over their zeal for cannabis, he rethought ‘their company’s motto and he decided to make an exception.
“He was on a journey to find the real Purple Urkel from back in the early 2000’s. Not only that, he wanted to find the most flavorful purple cultivars and had been collecting seeds with his friend Sean over the years just for this purpose,” he added.
Now, the brand new, sleek black packaging for the ItsPurpl cannabis shows a bright purple-hued version of Steve Urkel. For now, a limited-edition series of merchandise is set to include a waffle maker. Along with the cannabis, vape pens along with 710 Labs’ live resin pods and “Noodle Doinks,” a hand-rolled joint where a fusilli noodle is used as the crutch, will also be sold.
With its official launch on April 20th, 2021, Purple Urkle will only be available in California initially but White has expressed the desire to expand his brand into New York as more and more states are now legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.