Former 98 Degrees Star Nick Lachey Sets Himself Up As Marijuana Mogul

By McCarton Ackerman 11/03/15

The former boy-band member and current reality star joins a growing list of celebrities entering the marijuana biz.

Nick Lachey

Former 98 Degrees member and current reality star Nick Lachey is making a radical switch from his wholesome image by positioning himself as a marijuana mogul in his native Ohio.

Ohio could vote to legalize marijuana on Tuesday and the measure calls for all large-scale marijuana cultivation to be limited to 10 specifically designated farms. Lachey is a co-owner of one of the farms, along with NBA legend Oscar Robertson and NFL player Frostee Rucker. He has also thrown his support by the constitutional amendment proposed by ResponsibleOhio.

"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," said Lachey in a statement. "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."

Each group contributed $4 million to the legalization campaign in Ohio and will need to spend an additional $10 million to get their farms set up. But once they do this, they’ll be the only establishments able to service the nearly 1,100 state-sponsored marijuana dispensaries in Ohio. A Fox News study estimated that the 10 farms could potentially sell over $1 billion worth of marijuana annually.

But naturally, not everyone is onboard with Lachey’s endorsement of marijuana legalization in Ohio.

“This isn’t about freedom or jobs or taxes,” said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell on his Facebook page. “It’s about amending our constitution to give a few rich people a monopoly. No matter where you stand on the issue of drug legalization, this is a bad, bad idea.”

ResponsibleOhio has stated that its reform of marijuana in the state will generate $554 million in new annual tax revenues by 2020, create an estimated 10,000 new permanent jobs, and an additional 10,000 construction jobs throughout the state.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.