In 2015, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson teamed up for the duets album Django and Jimmie, which featured the tune “It’s All Going to Pot.”
Their art is imitating life.
Before his death, Merle teamed with the Colorado Weed Co. to develop a connoisseur-grade marijuana strain. Now, Merle’s daughter, Jenessa Haggard-Bennet, and son-in-law, Brian Bennett, are spearheading the release of the ganja line that has been dubbed Merle’s Girls.
“[Merle] was out [performing] every two weeks. He was doing all that in his 70s,” said Jenessa to The Denver Westword. “He believed [marijuana] could cure a whole bunch of things.”
Although Merle became famous in part for his 1969 anti-hippie anthem “Okie From Muskogee”—which featured the verses We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee / We don’t take no trips on LSD / We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street / We like livin’ right and bein’ free—Jenessa says that her father smoked weed for more than 20 years.
Merle’s new strain has not hit the shelves yet but is expected to launch in the next few months in Colorado, Washington and Oregon.
The initial crop of Merle’s Girls will introduce four sativa-based hybrids. Individual strains will have names with references recognizable to fans of Merle’s music.