*The following editorial content is not paid advertising.
You’ve heard their songs. From the iconic “Let Your Love Flow” to the song that made everyone smirk, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.” The Bellamy Brothers burst onto the music scene in the 1970s with their country sounds and feel-good lyrics.
David Bellamy and Homer (Howard) Bellamy were born in Darby, Florida. Over the course of their career, they have released more than fifty albums. They have charted twenty (20) number-one singles in country music. They have played live in 72 countries.
The popularity of The Bellamy Brothers has gone well beyond building fans in the United States. In 2011 alone, they had over 12 hit songs that were released internationally. The “Bellamy Brothers & Friends: Across the Sea” was at the top of the charts for weeks in Switzerland.
In 2013, the success of the album was the duo’s third major European release in three years. The “Mermaid Girl” album was recorded and released in Switzerland in 2014 and earned them a Gold Record.
Now they can add three cannabis strains that are flying off the shelves of Trulieve medical dispensaries in Florida.
Trulieve Collaborates to Create “The Old Hippie Stash” Brand of Medical Cannabis
April 9th marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of “The Old Hippie Stash” brand of cannabis, created by Trulieve for “The Bellamy Brothers.” Marijuana Doctors was honored to be invited to interview “The Bellamy Brothers” David and Howard, and Trulieve Chief Marketing Officer Valda Coryat, on April 7th, 2020.
We wanted to know more about the collaboration between Florida’s largest medical marijuana dispensary and the iconic and internationally renowned country music duo. And what made Trulieve and “The Bellamy Brothers” want to work together to create three exclusive strains of medical marijuana.
David:“When medical marijuana started, I accused Howard of being the first person in the state of Florida to have his license.”
Howard:“I’m proud of that.”
David:“It took me about another month or so, but you know we had the idea for a while, and said, you know, this would be a really good thing. But we didn’t know anyone, and then we met Kim through some mutual acquaintances. And got to talking to her a little bit. We went up and toured Trulieve, and the tour was incredible. Probably one of the greatest things ever. Because we’re basically farmers at heart, so anything growing, you know, we love it. We run a ranch and have been farming since we were kids. And we’ve smoked marijuana since we were… oh no, we shouldn’t tell that, should we? “
Lori:“You smoked once in college, but you didn’t inhale, right?”
Howard:“Right, we didn’t inhale.”
David: “After that, we kept talking to Kim (Trulieve) a few times, and then it just sort of came together. The really weird part of the story is that we were on tour with Blake Shelton last year when Covid came along and shut everything down. And we went from playing these huge arenas with Blake and Trace Atkins and the guys, and all of a sudden, we were just home at the ranch. And Trulieve called two days later and said: “Hey, we’re launching your brand.” It was like one thing stopped and the other thing just started.”
Howard: “It was great timing. Really great timing. Yeah, you know, one day I was wandering around a Trulieve dispensary, you know, and seeing all these names that we had lived with and part of our culture. We saw all these names, and you know, a bell rung. We thought “Old Hippies” was the perfect name. We brainstormed it, looking at different names of different flower we saw. Old hippies were who started all of this. That’s kind of where the idea grew from.
Lori: “That’s really cool; I would love to go through a tour of Trulieve’s grow.”
Valda: “You are welcome anytime!”
Lori: “I would love that; when I come to Florida, I will definitely reach out to you, Valda. I think that would be really cool”.
David: “It’s better than Disney.”
Lori: “That’s what I am thinking too. A whole different magic kingdom. Whoops! We might get in trouble for that.”
Question:Valda, can you tell us a little more about the three strains of cannabis that were created for “The Bellamy Brothers” brand?
Valda:“We created the brand, “The Old Hippie Stash” with two strains; ‘Big Love’ and “Reggae Cowboy.’ And both of those are hybrids. So, ‘Big Love’ is really well-balanced, has an aroma that is very piney and sweet, and the flavor is also rich and earthy. [The] ‘Reggae Cowboy’ though has these light purple buds with mossy green highlights, and the flowers are covered in trichomes. [It’s] very frosty. And I don’t even know if David and Howard know this, but ‘Reggae Cowboy’ earned the nickname “Frost Lord” from our grow team. So, the guys that are there in cultivation, when they looked at that one, that’s what came to mind.
We went with those names very much in line with some of your [Bellamy Brothers] very well-known songs. And we launched it at a premium price, so $58 for 3.5 grams or an eighth. They were so successful that we came out with a third, ‘Afterglow.’ And ‘Afterglow’ is actually an Indica. We’ve just seen tremendous success, I think, tying into music. We definitely see a connection between cannabis and creativity. So, if you think of a lot of musicians and artists and so forth, they never had an issue with cannabis as inspiration, let’s say.
All three strains are premium priced at $58 per one-eighth. And the sales have been so strong, it really speaks to our patients valuing the quality of the brand and that it is worth the price.”
Question: Howard and David, do you have family members or friends with a health condition who improved the quality of their life by using doctor-supervised medical marijuana?
David:“We do; I have one sitting right here [points to Howard].
Howard: “Well, you know for years, there’s still a stigma about marijuana from people from my generation. I am 75. There are some that never have smoked. I kind of did it all. But when I discovered it, you know, it stopped me from drinking. Still today, there is still a stigma. You know, they think it’s unholy or that it’s bad for you or you are going to freak out or something. They just don’t know. And I always say you should just try. In the old days, you could get a hold of a plant that you know would make you paranoid. One time we grew a plant outside we called “The Rattler.” It was outside all year, and we brought it in and the frost you were talking about; it was Christmas. I thought, ‘oh no, it’s dead,’ but the buds just all fell down, and the resin had just come into the buds, and it was just crystals. That plant made it into Hollywood…”
David:“Don’t tell them that story…too many famous names.”
Howard: “Anyway, it was medicinal. It seemed like it was just good for anything. I would just ration it out to friends and say, ‘you gotta try this,’ you know. Now that they have developed all these potions and ways to go. We got to try those things [with Trulieve]. See how it affected us. And we know what we needed at our age. We don’t need the paranoid, and that seems to be all gone these days [with cannabis from dispensaries]. When you are older, you don’t really get high anymore; you just really get, you know, relief.”
David: “I know more people now, and people that I never thought of smoking marijuana or taking cannabis products. They didn’t grow up in our culture, the music culture. We are a little bit more liberal with some things than others. But I know a lot of people who have discovered medical marijuana for pain and other things. “
Howard:“We say ‘God made marijuana. Man made booze. Who do you trust?”
Lori:“Well, it’s natural, right?”
David:“It’s one thing we brought back from India. It’s in our studio. That’s what it says. It’s kind of a Rasta saying.”
Question: “The Bellamy Brothers” hold the record in both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association Awards (CMA) for the most duo nominations. Do you write all your songs in Florida at your “Honky Tonk Ranch?”
Howard:“A lot of them.”
David:“I don’t know that we wrote them all here, but we wrote a good amount of them in Florida at the ‘Honky Tonk Ranch. This old place has been inspirational to us. It has been in our family since 1870. It’s still the place we always come back to. We’ve toured over seventy (70) countries. But we always sort of come back to this old place. And it’s just a really simple old ranch. It’s not that much different than it was when we were growing up. We’ve both got houses here. And our sister still lives here. There is still two or three generations here. We did have four before our Mom passed; there were four generations living here at one time.
Lori: “Wow, that is amazing.”
David: “Yeah, it’s a very sacred place to us. There is a studio in my backyard, so we can wander out in our pajamas and record if we want to.
Lori: “[Laugh] That’s awesome.”
Question: What was it like starring in your reality TV show, sharing your life at your Florida ranch in Dade City? Did fans start showing up at the ranch more than normal?
Howard:“We’ve certainly had fans showing up. Dave and I have done shows in 72 countries around the world. So we have a lot of foreign friends and fans that come to Florida. Funny story. Once we had this big longhorn steer in the front pasture, he had these huge horns. I hear this noise, and I looked down the road, and there was this girl leaning over the fence with a camera. Leaning her weight on the fence and the board on top of the fence should have been repaired. Well, it was a little rotten, I guess it was; she tipped over into the pasture with him. I saw, and all I could say was “lawsuit.”
Lori:“Did the steer go after her or anything.”
David:“He’s actually a pet, but you know he looks a little vicious. He’s a big old longhorn, and he’s actually really sweet. But yeah, we get some people coming by. Honky Tonk ranch is run by our business manager Chris and my wife. And sometimes they’ll call me and tell me, “somebody’s at the gate, don’t go down there right now, they want a tour of the Honky Tonk Ranch. So they’ll have to go down there and say we don’t do any public tours”.
Lori: “Well, that’s cool that you at least let people see where the music is recorded. I didn’t realize your ranch was multi-generational. That’s amazing.”
David: “Yeah, it’s an old Florida ranch. We had some people doing a story on it the other day for a magazine. It’s 150 years this year.”
Question: I also read that your song “No Country Music for Old Men” was a tribute to Kenny Rogers. Were you guys close friends?
David:“Yeah, we knew Kenny for a long time, from the old days. You know, when you work as many shows and play as many places we did, you run into just about everybody. So there’s hardly anybody [we don’t know], especially from the golden era of country. We knew just about all of them.
Howard: “Plus, some of our [music] was a cross over to pop-rock, so we got to meet musicians from all genres. From R&B artists to pop-rock artists from Europe and around the world. And we’ve done a lot of collaborations.”
David: “We saw Kenny about a year before he passed.”
Howard: “Yeah, we did a cruise. Pre-Covid.”
David: “Yeah, it was before the cruise and the Blake Shelton tour. We had seen him, and he had flown down to Jamaica. We were in Jamaica, and he had flown in and done his show on the ship. So, we got to see him and hang out with him a little bit, so that was nice. Yeah, that whole song was about a lot of them. Kenny especially, but a lot of them. And some of the great people we lost during Covid. Charlie Pride, who was a really dear friend of ours. We toured all over the world.”
Howard: “Charlie was a close friend of ours.”
Lori: “Howard and David, I have to ask you. How are you spending 4/20?”
David:“Well, you know the answer to that [laugh]. No, I am sure we’re going to NOT be feeling pain. We’re going to fight pain every way we can. You know, we were talking about the difference between us then and us now, because you know, we’re not getting any younger. But we’re still out there doing it. A lot of the medical marijuana now, we do for pain. People our age do it for pain. And all of our friends do it now.”
Howard: “I can’t imagine going through Covid without medical marijuana.”
Lori:“Yes, you know that’s a really good point. That’s a really interesting statement because medical cannabis sales in 2020 blew through the roof, didn’t they, Valda?”
Valda:“Yes, they did.”
Howard: “Yeah, sometimes I get it delivered. That’s the most wonderful thing too, by the way. I never thought I’d see the day. You can make your order. Or go into the dispensary and run into characters. Sitting around, and you strike up conversations. You know, they have PTSD like veterans and that kind of thing. I mean, we’re just in pain because we’re old [laugh], but some of these people [have amputations] or have been in horrible accidents or cancer patients. We strike up conversations. As opposed to the opioids we lived on for years, it’s not a ‘constipated world’ anymore [laugh].”
Lori: “Yes, that is just one of the side-effects [laugh]. But I liked your comment about the culture of going to a medical dispensary. Because you’re right, patients know they can walk in. They can express or share the symptoms they are having. And the difficulties that they are having. Budtenders are always very informed about what strains are best for inflammation, or swelling or insomnia, nausea, or appetite suppressant. It’s mind-blowing to know that the best budtenders are really encyclopedia’s of symptom management.
Howard: “Absolutely, that’s a great point. The workers in Trulieve, the employees there are very knowledgeable. I’ve taught them a few things [laugh]. In the Old Hippie song, there’s a line that says “the smoke from that torpedo.” Well, a torpedo was a joint back then. You know, shaped like a torpedo. Not many people in these generations know that was what that was about. Cannabis is just a fat torpedo. Fat in the middle and twisted on the ends [laugh].
But with all the research done now, they are so knowledgeable now. They do an amazing job educating people about what could work for them. And what [they could] try. It’s very helpful.”
Valda:“And I think speaking of providing relief to as many patients as possible, one of the things that Trulieve prides itself on is making it accessible to as many people across the state of Florida. I can’t talk ‘hippies’ [laugh], and we’re so close to 4/20 without mentioning that this “420” is actually the 50th anniversary of 420. Officially it started in 1971, and we are in 2021. We’re going into our fifth year in operation here in Florida. And right around 420, we’re going to be opening our 80th dispensary. So you talk about accessibility, right? Trulieve is making sure that patients across the state, from north to south and every country possible, have access to medicine. And more to your point, delivery services as well. On April 9th, we’ll be giving away ten (10) 420 swag boxes.”
Lori:“The Bellamy Brothers ‘Reggae Cowboy’, “Afterglow,” and ‘Big Love’ cannabis strains are available at every Trulieve medical dispensary location in Florida. The Bellamy Brothers’ new EP Bucket List is available now across all digital platforms, and fans can also pick up a copy of “The Bellamy Brothers: 40-Years The Album” on their website.
Valda, Howard, and David, thank you for visiting with us. It’s been a great pleasure talking to you.”
Howard and David: “Thank you.”
Valda: “Thank you for having us!”
Winners will be announced on Monday April 12th on the Marijuana Doctor’s Facebook page.