It might sound like something someone made up while high and deep in a YouTube rabbit hole of late-'90s pop videos, but this is a true story. Nick Lachey — yes, the former member of boy band 98 Degrees and ex-husband of Jessica Simpson — is poised to become a wealthy marijuana magnate, depending on how a vote goes on Election Day. That's because Lachey is a budding marijuana farmer, and if Ohioans vote to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, the former boy bander will become one of a few producers in the state supplying to shops and controlling the industry. But, wait. Back it up. That Nick Lachey??
Once upon a time, when sunglasses had orange lenses and men had frosted tips, Lachey was one of four members of the boy band 98 Degrees, who had such indelible hits as "Because of You" and "I Do (Cherish You)." Fast-forward some 17 years, and he's now one of 10 marijuana growers in Ohio underwriting a ballot initiative that would make the group the state's exclusive pot suppliers. Lachey is not the only unexpected member of the motley group; other weed farmers include fashion designer Nanette Lepore, retired NBA player Oscar Robertson, and NFL player Frostee Rucker of the Arizona Cardinals.
But the former Mr. Simpson is perhaps the most intriguing member of this would-be weed cartel. Here are six equally interesting facts about Nick Lachey's marijuana business.
He's An Investor In The ResponsibleOhio PAC
Lachey is an investor in the ResponsibleOhio campaign, which is spearheading the marijuana legalization efforts in the state. According to The Washington Post, bankrolling the ballot might be the only way to legalize weed in an overall conservative state.
He Would Co-Own A 29-Acre Farm
If the measure passes, Lachey and the others would shell out another $10 million — in addition to the $4 million they put in to underwrite the ballot — to set up their respective farms. Lachey's would be a 29-acre piece of land in Hudson, a city in upstate Ohio.
He Could Become A Billionaire
According to a study by the Marijuana Policies of Ohio Taskforce, the farms could be making $1.1 billion each year within four years.
He's Trying To Create Jobs And Improve Ohio's Economy
When asked for a statement, Lachey issued one through ResponsibleOhio which addressed the economic benefits of legalizing weed:
Ohio is my home, and as a resident and local business owner I am proud to be part of a movement that has the potential to create jobs, reinvigorate the local economy and improve the safety of our communities. Passage of this proposal will result in much-needed economic development opportunities across Ohio, and update the state’s position on marijuana in a smart and safe way.
The Weed Farm Is Not His Only Business
In addition to a sure-to-be booming weed business, Lachey is also a co-owner of the sports bar Lachey's Bar, along with his brother Drew.
A Reality Show About His Pot Farm Might Be In The Works
Ian James, executive director of ResponsibleOhio, and Jimmy Gould of Cincinnati private equity firm The Walnut Group have joked about creating a reality show about Lachey's marijuana business. May I suggest the title Newlyweeds?