Don't hold your breath if you were hoping to see Gene Simmons's face on ads for legal cannabis in Canada.
The KISS bassist/vocalist, who has always promoted clean living and scoffed at peers who snort drugs and get high, made headlines last month when he landed an odd new gig as "chief evangelist officer" at Canadian cannabis and fertilizer company Invictus. He later said that he "was wrong" and "was not informed" when he was dismissive of cannabis in the past.
But despite his new relationship with Invictus, Gene will not appear in any ads for pot in Canada. Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair said celebrity endorsements won't be sanctioned under Canada's recreational marijuana regime, which will heavily regulate how cannabis products can be marketed.
"It's not the government's intention to promote the use of this drug," Blair told Global News. "We are not allowing the heavy marketing that we've seen with other products, alcohol for example, and so there will be severe restrictions on things like celebrity endorsement and [company] sponsorship."
This decision falls in line with the restrictive packaging laws that will be enforced by Canadian feds.
Simmons, who will serve as Invictus's media spokesperson among other duties, disclosed that he has "10 million in stock" in the company and said that he was "glad to do it. Respectfully, I'm not as much a celebrity as a businessman because you can't find somebody like me. I have a restaurant chain, also some other businesses that have nothing to do with playing a guitar."
As part of his deal with Invictus, Simmons has agreed to appear at least 50 investor and industry presentations for the company over a five-year period.