Gene Simmons has long been vocal about his abstinence from drugs and alcohol, so fans were shocked by the recent announcement that he will join forces with Canadian cannabis company Invictus. The Kiss bassist and co-lead singer will be “chief evangelical officer” for the company, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
Simmons took part in an event to publicize Invicta’s launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange – with the ticker name of “GENE.” The 68-year-old rock legend revealed that he has purchased 10 million dollars in the company’s stock and that his commitment as a media spokesperson will include a minimum of 50 appearances at promotional events over the next five years
Gene Simmons has claimed that he never drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes or marijuana, or done any drugs except prescriptions under a doctor’s care. Now he admits he was uninformed about the medicinal merits of marijuana.
“I was wrong and I was not informed,” he said, according to the Toronto Sun.
“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…I have to man up and admit in the past, I used to dismiss lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance. 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.”
While he did not reveal if he agrees with the idea that recreational marijuana should be sold in the free market, Gene Simmons admitted that he sees this as a great business opportunity. Gene also owns a restaurant chain and several other businesses outside of his work and licensing deals with Kiss.
“At the end of the day, business is the sexiest thing,” Simmons said.
Simmons’ new comments are in stark contrast to his past remarks on the topic of drugs and alcohol. In 2016, Gene Simmons told the Los Angeles Times, “I’ve never been drunk and I’ve never been high.”
Simmons has always said it’s not his job to “convince anyone of my lifestyle,” adding that, “This is what I want for me.”
Still, Gene Simmons questioned why anyone would want to dull their senses with drugs or alcohol, because “if you stand still, you’re losing. We have to be like sharks. Either you move through the water or you drown.”
Last fall, Gene also revealed he laid down the law with his kids regarding drugs and alcohol. Simmons told Rolling Stone one thing that he expects from his kids is “you’re not allowed to get high or get drunk or smoke cigarettes.”
“Can’t do that,” Simmons said. “If you want to, I want to have a discussion. And tell me before, don’t tell me after. If you transgress, if you go against my commandments, you will find yourself in a desert camp digging holes, written out of the estate and the will.”
For more on Gene Simmons and his latest business venture see the video below.