Could hemp be the new tobacco? Rapper Rick Ross bets so with new line.

Could hemp be the new tobacco? Rapper Rick Ross bets so with new line.

Ross and partners say they want to disrupt the tobacco industry with CBD smokables, delta-8 THC, and hemp rolling papers.


Rick Ross | Photo courtesy Hemp Hop Smokables

Rapper and music producer Rick Ross has announced that he and a small team are launching a line of smokable hemp products, aptly dubbed Hemp Hop Smokables.


Ross’s partner in the mission is James Lindsay, founder and CEO of Rap Snacks (rapper-themed chips, popcorn, cheese puffs — you get the idea).


The pair is working with the hemp manufacturing company Hempacco to produce hemp-derived cannabinoid cigarettes, delta-8 products and hemp fiber rolling papers.


The partnership draws Ross and Lindsay into Hempacco’s stated mission: disrupting tobacco. The company offers non-nicotine cigarettes, which do still contain toxic carbonyl compounds when smoked. But because hemp cigarettes have therapeutic effects and may help people quit smoking, many consider them a beneficial alternative to tobacco cigarettes.


Some research backs the claim that hemp cigarettes help people loosen the grip of nicotine addiction. Preliminary findings in one double-blind study found that people treated with CBD reduced the number of tobacco cigarettes smoked by about 40% during treatment.

And a survey of more than 5,000 CBD users by Brightfield Group found that 24% had used hemp CBD cigarettes or vapes to successfully quit smoking tobacco. Of those who quit, 41% of replaced traditional smoking with hemp CBD.


"I truly believe in the health benefits of hemp-derived products," Ross said in a press release. ”Having had my own health scares, and through my healing process, I decided I would develop a line of smokables to help others with the benefits of hemp cannabinoids."


"I truly believe in the health benefits of hemp-derived products. Having had my own health scares, and through my healing process, I decided I would develop a line of smokables to help others with the benefits of hemp cannabinoids.”

— Rick Ross, co-founder of Hemp Hop Smokables

Lindsay brings product-distribution experience to the lineup.


"This is not my first consumer product,” he said. “I launched Rap Snacks 27 years ago with the vision to create products that speak to the culture. Now Rap Snacks are sold in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the country.”

James Lindsey | Photo courtesy of Hemp Hop Smokables

As co-founder of Hemp Hop Smokables, he added, “Our network of distributors are ready to welcome the product to their shelves and provide consumers with a product that has cultural representation.”


The team is currently developing flavors designing the products, according to Ross.


The partnership allows Hemp Hop to use Hempacco's team and intellectual property, including patents to flavor, develop, infuse and manufacture hemp cigarettes.

"The attention to detail Rick brings to the flavoring and developing of the hemp CBD cigarettes and hemp wraps is remarkable," said Sandro Piancone, CEO and founder of Hempacco.


The partnership was announced October 15, and there’s still much to do before the actual product is released. For now, at least, it sounds like a match made in hemp hop heaven.