Millions of people who had never touched a living cow or tilled a field were willing to spend real money to do those things digitally, making FarmVille a hit game. Does marijuana farming have similar appeal? Wiz Khalifa hopes so.
The rapper and cannabis entrepreneur is now also a mobile app developer, releasing Wiz Khalifa's Weed Farm video game Thursday in celebration of the "4/20" holiday, a counter-cultural celebration of pot.
Similar to growing crops in FarmVille, users who play Wiz Khalifa's Weed Farm are challenged to successfully grow various strains of cannabis. The game uses a so-called freemium business model, which means iPhone and Android users can download it for free but have to pay for additional features.
"People are already growing pot in the real world, but the game gives you your own way of doing it and your own style," Khalifa told Inc. "It's just a cool way to learn and have fun about weed and the weed game."
Khalifa, who is known to hip-hop fans for his adoration of marijuana, is fast establishing himself as an entrepreneur to watch in the burgeoning cannabis industry. In 2016, Khalifa partnered with Colorado company RiverRock Cannabis to produce and sell "Khalifa Kush," his very own strain of cannabis.
With Weed Farm, Khalifa said he is hoping to both entertain as well as educate consumers about what it's like to grow weed as well as build a business around it.Kush entrepreneurship, however, is not for everyone, Khalifa warns. Without proper knowledge of weed and weed culture, it is not possible to succeed in this market, no matter how much money you might put into a venture, Khalifa said.
"It's for people who are really passionate about pot, the culture, cultivating, growing and knowing about it," Khalifa said. "It's something that you really got to have a passion for. You go to know your audience."
Khalifa said creating his first app required a learning curve, but at the end of the process, he was proud of what he and his team were able to create. He is open to building more apps in the future, but for now, his focus is on the success of Weed Farm.
"It was something that was fun, something that I really didn't know what I was getting myself into," Khalifa said. "I want to see this one take off and do what it's going to do and really just make people have fun."