Chelsea Handler: From Canna-Loving Comedian To Activist

By Melanie Erbar.

Benzinga · 01/24/2020 17:07

By Melanie Erbar.

Every stoner out there has been confronted with the phrase “weed makes you lazy”. While this might be true for some people, Chelsea Handler is not one of them. The host of E’s Chelsea Lately and star of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)'s talk show Chelsea has evolved from comedian to business owner, especially since she rediscovered her love of Cannabis. As one of the newer faces in the bud business, she’s not only a published author of several New York Times Best sellers, but also a social activist and living proof that potheads can be power pods too.

Weed Entrepreneur In The Making

Last year, Handler joined forces with NorCal Cannabis, a Santa Rosa-based cannabis manufacturer, to launch her brand of pot products aimed specifically to women who’ve had bad experiences with the drug or never tried it. The line, which was originally set to hit stores in California by late spring, will feature vapes and an edible, one of the comedian’s preferred consumption forms. 

See Also: Seth Rogen And Evan Goldberg's Weed Brand Is Not Only Beautiful, But Also Committed To Social Justice

As she told Green Entrepreneur, clearing up misconceptions around Cannabis use was a key factor in creating the brand: “I’m known for being honest, so that’s what I want to continue with this brand. My messaging is like, ‘Come over here; I’ll introduce you to cannabis in a safe way. You’re safe with me’.”

The comedian has long been an advocate of cannabis on her social media. What some might not know is that Handler rediscovered her connection to the plant when Trump was elected. Her feelings about the election inflamed her anger around the political state in the U.S. Alcohol consumption at the time was emphasizing her rage instead of calming it. She switched to THC instead and discovered how effective it can be in regaining focus. 

“As I was developing this line, I shot a documentary, wrote a book, released a book, did a stand-up tour, did a sit-down tour, and I smoked pot every day. So, hey, let’s change the language here. You can totally be productive.”, she explains.    

Add Activist To The List 

Handler’s productivity hasn’t only circled around building her future Cannabis business. In fact, she left her Netflix show in 2018 to develop her work as an activist and has come a long way since. As one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people”, and the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” award winner in 2009, she’s been using her voice to address issues around racism, white privilege, and female representation in politics, as well as refugee integration.

See Also: What You Need To Know About Whoopi Goldberg's Cannabis Ventures

Despite the comedian’s reluctance to participate in politics, her partnership with advocacy group EMILY’s List will help elect more pro-choice Democratic women into government, creating more space for women to break the political glass ceiling. Ignite, a nonpartisan program that she supports, also contributes to this mission by preparing and training women in high school for a career in politics. 

As she told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview, this shift towards activism was brought on by a change in perspective, one she intends to keep: “For the first time in my life, I haven’t had to focus on myself...So I’m not thinking about myself so much. It’s nice and refreshing.”

See Also: Jim Belushi Takes On Your Blues With His Pot

Image Credit: Cara Robbins

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