On Tuesday, KISS bassist Gene Simmons was at the TSX Venture Exchange, ringing the morning bell after Canadian cannabis producer Invictus changed its share ticker name from IMH to GENE.
Simmons has a new role, he is the “Chief Evangelist Officer” for the Vancouver-based Invictus. No, this is not the Onion, it happened for real.
Simmons will also serve as the company’s media spokesperson among other tasks.
During his Toronto visit, the Israeli-American musician has a lot to say about marijuana.
“I have to man up and admit in the past, I used to dismiss lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance.”
Even though Simmons is a rock star, he has always been an ardent teetotaler, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and weed.
“I was wrong and I was not informed,” said Simmons.
“Well, drug abuse, you don’t have to be a genius (to know that’s wrong) and alcohol abuse, everybody knows that’s wrong but I’ve been dismissive of cannabis. And I didn’t know much about it. I just dismissed it out of hand.”
“I have to man up and admit in the past, I used to dismiss lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance,” he explained. “About three years ago when I did my own research, I found out astonishingly new information that doctors and researchers were talking about with regards to cannabis.”
Speaking like a real investor, Simmons said:
“The appeal Invictus has for me is I’m bullish on the company and as an investment strategy for myself.”
The songwriter already has $10 million in stock in Invictus.
“Respectfully, I’m not as much a celebrity as a businessman because you can’t find somebody like me. I have a restaurant chain, also some other businesses that have nothing to do with playing the guitar.”
“At the end of the day, business is the sexiest thing.”