KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has once again admitted that he was "completely wrong" about marijuana's benefits in the past.
The KISS bassist/vocalist, who has always promoted clean living and scoffed at peers who snort drugs and get high, made headlines in March 2018 when he landed an odd new gig as "chief evangelist officer" at Canadian cannabis and fertilizer company Invictus.
For those confused about this new relationship given the fact that Simmons has been on the record about never trying cannabis in his whole life, Gene explained his stance during an interview with SmallCapPower at the 2018 New Green Frontier cannabis investor conference, which was held on November 19 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
"Historically, I have to say I was completely wrong about the entire space," he said (see video below). "I thought cannabis was for stoners and losers and all that, and slowly but surely, over the years, the amount of research that I saw just blew me away. Seeing little girls who suffer from epilepsy rubbing a salve, not on the inside but outside of their body and seemingly miraculously getting cured made me take stock.
"Big Pharma [the global pharmaceutical industry] is not fond of this space, because cannabis, in its various forms, is actually gonna help people," he continued. "That's what researchers are telling me. And I'm telling everybody else there are a lot of new companies, especially in Canada, and good for them. Some of them are solid, some of them are garbage, and it's up to you to find out what it's all about. I happen to believe in Invictus, and all I urge anybody to do is to go to Invictus-MD.com and do your own research.
"When you go into a restaurant, you get a menu," Simmons added. "Think what looks good for you. It's all there. Some of it's good, some of it's fresh, some of it's rotten and been there a long time. But, generally, the cannabis space, I think, is gonna be good for humanity. Certainly much better than cigarettes, which might give you cancer. This other thing, even as a recreational item, might give you the munchies [the desire for salty, sweet or fatty carbohydrate-rich foods]. Let me see: I get the munchies or I might get cancer."
Simmons, who serves 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."
Dan Kriznic, CEO and chairman of Invictus, credited Gene's business acumen for the appointment. According to Kriznic, Simmons "created one of the most iconic bands of all time, but has spent decades building successful brands internationally in various industries."
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.
Gene told the Vancouver Sun that he has been drawn into many of his diverse ventures, more often than not, because he established a personal connection, adding that he "liked" Kriznic the first time he met him.
"I may drive a truck, but open the hood and I call the mechanic because he can fix it," Simmons explained. "The most important view is the one from 30,000 feet because that is where you can take in the big picture. Whether it's religion, rock stars or politicians, you need to be able to tell the story and convince people that they need stuff they don't need. With what we're doing with Invictus MD … is something that I'm very bullish on because it's real."