Actor Jaleel White, most notable for his role as the dorky genius Steve Urkel on the hit sitcom “Family Matters,” once revealed that his character portrayal used to put a damper on his dating parade. However, it now seems as though his 1990’s character may soon be marching him straight to the bank.
Forbes recently reported that the 44-year-old actor launched his own line of luxury cannabis, “ItsPurpl,” in collaboration with 710 Labs, an award-winning cannabis company. Together, the pair created several variations of the well-liked Purple Urkle cannabis strain, including a unique cross of the Urkle strain and “The White” known as Stefan — Urkle’s more attractive alter ego. The line is set to launch on April 20, and will be available at dispensaries located in California with hopes of bringing it to New York. “New York has always shown me a lot of love so hopefully it won’t take too long to get “ItsPurpl” products to the Big Apple,” White told Forbes.
With the growing legalization of marijuana in states across the country, White, who is reportedly a long-time smoker, noticed no one really took the initiative to push the Purple Urkle strain and saw it as the perfect opportunity. “The thing that always stood out to me was there no clear brand leader for fire purple weed,” the actor explained. “It made no sense to me that no company of significance had claimed this lane, so why not me?”
Meanwhile, 710 Labs founder Brad Melshenker believes it made perfect sense. The entrepreneur noted that his company doesn’t gain much from celebrity partnerships, but he and White were actually friends, making the collaboration more authentic.
“We tend to let the product speak for itself. But over the years, Jaleel and I became friends, and organically our conversations developed into a project,” Melshenker told the financial outlet. “He was on a journey to find the real Purple Urkel from back in the early 2000s. Not only that, he wanted to find the most flavorful purple cultivars and had been collecting seeds with his friend Sean over the years just for this purpose.”
White told the cannabis-focused media outlet Leafly, “The legacy of the character has just taken on its own life.” He added, “I’ve been associated with something, an avenue of cannabis that’s respected and known. My criteria was, ‘I cannot do this and put out a, you know, a boo-boo offering of no effort.’ ”
The podcaster says his latest venture is more significant than just selling weed. “I’ve been on the cover of cereal boxes. I’ve had my own doll. I’ve had pajamas, sleeping bags, all types of different things. But this is the one right here, because of what it stands for culturally, and the changes that are taking place for legalization and making things right,” he explained. “I hope to be seen as someone who was, you know, somewhat of a pioneer. And I say that humbly because it takes a team to make anything like this happen.”
White joins a number of celebrities who have invested in the cannabis industry, including Snoop Dogg with his “Leafs by Snoop,” Wiz Khalifa and his “Khalifa Kush Enterprises Oil” and Method Man’s “Tical Offiial.”