Grand National Founders Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Drew Jordan Pierce and Jesce Horton

Carmelo Anthony Launches New Line and Agency with Top Names

This past weekend’s 4/20 festivities included the launch of a new agency geared at providing brands with essential support from backers with extensive cannabis credentials and celebrity status to boot. Grand National is the combined effort of NBA legend Carmelo Anthony alongside cannabis and marketing leaders Jesce Horton and Brandon Drew Jordan Pierce.

The agency intends to bring to the space a commitment of mindfulness and well-being with equal commitment to promoting and supporting ventures from underrepresented communities. Its first initiative to launch is Anthony’s new cannabis line, STAYME7O. Anthony launched an apparel brand under the same name in December 2022. 

Meet The Founders

Grand National is the latest venture for the trio of established and budding entrepreneurs. Anthony, an NBA over 19 seasons with teams like the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, has an established record of investments dating back to 2007, according to Crunchbase. Previous investments include 2019’s support of the sports media venture Overtime, as well as 2021’s investment in the California Cannabis brand LEUNE. 

Anthony said Grand National represents the trio’s shared vision for empowerment and innovation. “Through this venture we’re not only aiming to reshape the cannabis landscape, but also champion diversity and inclusion within the industry so we can propel community and culture forward,” he said via press release. 

The NBA and college basketball legend is joined by Jesce Horton, an established name in cannabis branding and advocacy. Hortons success in the space includes the launch of the award-winning Oregon cannabis brand LOWD, in addition to founding the Minority Cannabis Business Association in 2015. Earlier in his career, Horton cut his teeth at notable international brands like General Electric and Siemens. 

Horton, CEO of give-back cannabis brand Ben’s Best, founded by Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen, said Grand National hopes to solve industry problems while caring about competitive differentiation. 

Pierce brings two decades of award-winning brand leadership to the company. Working with names ranging from Lebron James and Kobe Bryant to David Beckham and Ted Danson, the creative leader has received ample praise and prizes, picking up awards at events like the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes Lions, and the Clios. 

“Some things don’t need a second thought,” says Pierce of the brand’s launch.

Grand National Brand Mission

The rollout of Anthony’s new signature cannabis line marks one endeavor for the brand, but does not represent the entire mission. 

As part of their roll out, the company stated their commitment to establishing a robust network of support for cannabis brands, shining a particular light on underrepresented communities. Early steps to achieving that mission include partnering with retail brands such as Natural Wonders and Green Mews, two of Oregon’s Indigenous and Black owned dispensaries. According to the brand’s website, STAYME7O is currently only available in those two dispensaries. 

 “Grand National’s mission is undeniable,” said Pierce. Anthony added, “I’m very excited to be working with Jesce and Brandon to provide a platform for cannabis brands aiming to amplify their footprint and expand their market share across the country.”

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