LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 04: Drake attends the LA Premiere Of HBO
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 04: Drake attends the LA Premiere Of HBO's "Euphoria" at The Cinerama Dome on June 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
00:54
Drake launches cannabis company
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Now playing
01:58
Biden revokes Keystone XL pipeline permit
Now playing
03:17
Many believed conspiracy theories about Trump and the election. Now, they're losing faith
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
04:29
What impact could deplatforming Donald Trump have?
Members of the Michigan Boogaloo Bois an anti-government group stand with their long guns near the Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan on January 17, 2021, during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting US President Donald Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election. - The FBI warned authorities in all 50 states to prepare for armed protests at state capitals in the days leading up to the January 20 presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Michigan Boogaloo Bois an anti-government group stand with their long guns near the Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan on January 17, 2021, during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting US President Donald Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election. - The FBI warned authorities in all 50 states to prepare for armed protests at state capitals in the days leading up to the January 20 presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Seth Herald/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
04:37
Expert: Social media to extremism is like oxygen to fire
PHOTO: @Virgin_Orbit
Now playing
01:03
Watch this rocket launch from the wing of a jumbo jet
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks with AEI president Arthur C. Brooks during a public conversation on Facebook's work on 'breakthrough innovations that seek to open up the world' at The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on June 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Allison Shelley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
01:23
Hear Sandberg downplay Facebook's role in the Capitol riots
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Now playing
03:15
Airlines & TSA boost security ahead of Inauguration
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Major GOP donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:02
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges
Now playing
05:39
Ben & Jerry's calls for Trump's removal
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:49
Parler sues Amazon in response to being deplatformed
Panasonic
Panasonic's Augmented Reality Heads-up Display
PHOTO: Panasonic USA
Now playing
01:06
This tech gives drivers directions on the road in front of them
PHOTO: Wimkin
Now playing
03:18
The online warning signs of the violent Capitol siege
PHOTO: Twitter
Now playing
02:39
Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump from platform
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:56
'What are we supposed to do?': Rioter speaks to CNN reporter
(CNN Business) —  

Cannabis, so hot right now.

The burgeoning North American cannabis industry — and, notably, the booming hemp-derived CBD sector — has become a red-carpet-like affair with celebrities and athletes signing on to pitch one brand or another.

On Thursday, Aubrey Drake Graham, best known as hip-hop artist Drake, partnered with Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth to launch the More Life Growth Company cannabis producer in Graham’s hometown of Toronto.

Drake joins a surging wave of celebrities who have aligned themselves with the cannabis industry by selling products, joining corporate boards, or, in this case, creating a joint venture business.

With a list that already includes Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Montel Williams, Rob Gronkowski, Martha Stewart, Tony Hawk, Gweneth Paltrow, and Whoopi Goldberg, the question becomes: Have we reached peak celebrity cannabis?

“I don’t think they’ve reached full saturation yet,” said Ryan McConnell, senior vice president at Kantar, a business insight and brand consulting firm.

Celebrity endorsements and partnerships are a way to help lend credibility and trust to a business, he said. And for an emerging — and somewhat illicit — industry, that can be huge.

“[Cannabis] is a field that is not, in some people’s eyes, legitimate yet,” he said. “It still has that veneer of being illegal.”

But not all celebrity tie-ups are created equal. People are attracted to brands that are real and authentic, said Diana Eberlein, an entertainment marketing specialist.

“If it feels inauthentic, they will lose that audience very quickly,” said Eberlein, who now heads up marketing efforts at SoRSE, a company that helps make cannabis oil water soluble. SoRSE worked with Mad Tasty, a brand of hemp sparkling waters launched by OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder.

Canopy Growth’s other celebrity partnerships have struck that chord well, she said. It made perfect sense that Snoop Dogg, actor Seth Rogen and even Snoop’s pal Martha Stewart were venturing into the cannabis industry.

Drake, while hugely popular, doesn’t garner that immediate association with cannabis, she said.

“But Drake is such a big name,” she said. “So, it really depends on how he drives the brand moving forward.”

Drake’s arrangement with Canopy Growth does stand apart from most of the celebrity cannabis deals, which are largely endorsements, minority investments or advisory roles. According to Cassels, a law firm that represents Canopy, Drake is the majority owner of a company that has a license from Health Canada, which oversees the nation’s regulated cannabis market.

Under the agreement, Drake will own 60% of More Life Growth Company while Canopy Growth will retain the other 40% and have the ability to “exclusively exploit certain intellectual property” in Canada and internationally.

For Canopy Growth, which has become a bit of a poster child for the publicly traded cannabis companies in operational and financial flux, the deal underwhelmed at least one analyst who follows the company.

“We take a relatively dim view of the venture’s Canadian prospects in justifying the implied value ceded by Canopy,” Andrew Carter, an analyst with brokerage and investment banking firm Stifel, said in a research note on Thursday. “Canadian cannabis brand development is difficult with restrictions specifically prohibiting utilizing celebrity names, and we believe Canopy is ceding a cash flow positive asset.”

When viewing the deal long-term, however, it could play out well for Canopy.

“But, we believe Canopy is creating another option to enhance its positioning for the US,” Carter wrote. “Canopy’s continued investment towards the larger global opportunity is a differentiating factor versus peers pursuing actions to ensure viability.”