Cannabis culture is going metal - Heavy Metal, that is, and fans of the 1981 cult classic film are rejoicing. Leading cannabis operator Berkshire Roots and Heavy Metal Entertainment (HME) officially introduced their partnership to the public this past weekend at the NECANN Boston trade show and business conference. Through this venture, the Massachusetts-based Berkshire Roots will offer new flower strains and create unique cannabis products branded “Heavy Metal” to coincide with HME’s plans to deliver edgy and exciting new media and experiences for its fanbase, and to attract greater scores of audiences to its rich history of stories and characters.
Heavy Metal Entertainment: What Made Heavy Metal (1981) a Cult Classic Film?
Founded in 1977, HME has been on the forefront of bringing counterculture to the mainstream through adult-oriented science fiction, fantasy, and horror entertainment. Originally created as a print publication, Heavy Metal uniquely blended comic book-style stories with adult-themed subjects and characters no other publisher had been able to achieve in those early days. Shortly thereafter, Heavy Metal and legendary producer/director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes) released the groundbreaking eponymous 1981 film that brought the magazine to life and introduced adult animation as we know it today to the masses.
A sci-fi anthology, Heavy Metal featured six stories bound by a single theme of an evil force that is "the sum of all evils.” The plots were all inspired by the original comics, and acclaimed animator Gerald Potterton (Yellow Submarine) was brought on to direct. Heavy Metal had a star-studded voice cast including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Alice Playten, Harold Ramis, and Susan Roman. Its soundtrack spotlighted some of the era’s most influential bands and artists, such as Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Journey, Sammy Hagar and Stevie Nicks.
The film’s bold cross-genre approach and psychedelic visuals helped it become a favorite within the cannabis community, and among its reputation as a milestone in animated cinema, it also grew to be recognized lovingly as “one of the greatest stoner flicks of all time.”
Watch the HEAVY METAL film trailer:
What Are Heavy Metal Entertainment and Berkshire Roots Saying About Their Cannabis Partnership?
Now, HME brings that reputation full-circle in its new partnership with Berkshire Roots. James Winokur, CEO of Berkshire Roots, appeared at NECANN Boston with Heavy Metal Studios President Tommy Coriale to explain their upcoming launch of HME-themed cannabis products in the state of Massachusetts.
Winokur said, “Building on the reputation and consumer loyalty Berkshire Roots has established since it launched, we are now in a position to guide other brands that want to enter the cannabis market and Massachusetts specifically. We want to work with unique offerings that set themselves apart in a crowded field. When I first started thinking about the Heavy Metal brand and how creative we could get in our product offerings, I became really passionate about working with the HME team. I think this model is game-changing for the industry, and I can’t think of another partnership like this in the cannabis space. Our customers are going to really love this pairing!”
“When we were all introduced to Berkshire Roots, we immediately gravitated to the idea of a connection between our brand and cannabis,” Coriale shared. “As conversations with company management went on and Heavy Metal got a glimpse of their follow-up product ideas, we grew increasingly excited as they really understood the DNA of the brand and its commitment to enhancing our customer experience in unexpected ways. We can’t wait to see this product connect to both the long-time fans, and the younger generation who are just getting to know Heavy Metal for the first time.”
HME’s new ownership group is focused on a 360-degree fan experience unlike any other in entertainment, delivering unrivaled content across print publishing, new media, and a newly launched TV, Film, and animation focused content studio. Tying in Heavy Metal’s boundary pushing DNA and world class art and storytelling to great cannabis products will deliver a level of customer experience never before seen in either the entertainment or cannabis industries.
A Link to the Past: Bringing Heavy Metal to Modern Cannabis Culture
Stu Zakim, Director of Bridge Strategic Communications, was thrilled to see HME embracing its cannabis fanbase in a wholly new evolution. One of the leading PR executives in the entertainment and cannabis industries, Zakim is handling publicity for the Berkshire Roots-HME partnership. Interestingly, this latest adventure turned out to be a link to the past for him since he did just that for the original Heavy Metal movie!
“When I handled the publicity for the release of Heavy Metal, in 1981,” Zakim recalled, “we had a major premiere with a screening on New York’s largest screen at the Ziegfeld Theater and a party at the Guggenheim Museum where we had Cheap Trick play live as they were on the soundtrack. Little did I ever think over 40 years later, I’d be involved in launching this iconic brand as a cannabis product! Talk about Karma!”
Where Can You Find Heavy Metal Cannabis Products?
The Heavy Metal products will be available at Berkshire Roots’ dispensaries in Pittsfield and East Boston, Massachusetts, beginning in April 2023. They will simultaneously be offered at select retailers throughout the state, including Budzee Delivery, Dreamer, The Goods, Honey, Nature’s Remedy, Northeast Alternatives, Nova Farms, Panacea Wellness and Zyp Run Delivery.
If you believe you possess powers you do not yet understand, keep an eye out for the jewels coming from Berkshire Roots and HME - The MetalVerse has met The CannaVerse, and imagination is flying high yet again.
For more information about Berkshire Roots, visit berkshireroots.com. To learn more about Heavy Metal Entertainment, visit heavymetal.com.
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Featured image: (C) Heavy Metal Entertainment / Berkshire Roots