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11 Oct

J. Alphonse Nicholson Shares How His Recent Cannabis Brand

J. Alphonse Nicholson Shares How His Recent Cannabis Brand

Before seeing his face, I’m first greeted with a plume of cannabis smoke across my computer screen. Because the cloud clears, I’m in a position to make out his smile—the identical one the remainder of the world has fallen in love with when it lit up their TVs every Sunday this past summer.

“How are you today?” I ask, as our Zoom interview begins. “Can’t complain,” actor J. Alphonse Nicholson responds.

Paradoxically, I doubted that that was entirely true.

Although the P. Valley breakout star is having a well-deserved Cinderella moment, it hasn’t come without its backlash.

Nicholson’s beloved character, Lil’ Murda portrayed within the strip club-centered dramedy has consistently been the topic of social media fodder because the premiere of the Starz series in 2020. And it’s with good reason. Nicholson is a breath of fresh air within the role. His harrowing performance does a lot justice to the layered fictional character that just about every considered one of his scenes opens a bigger conversation around sexual identity, heterosexual norms and the way the Black community grapples with them.

For background, Lil Murda, a closeted gay man is in love with Uncle Clifford (played by Nicco Anan) and has no idea the way to handle it as his emerging rap profession burgeons. Set within the fictional southern town of Chucalissa (a hybrid of Memphis, TN and parts of Mississippi), the show tackles the complicated relationship Black Christians and beyond have with the LBGTQ+ community with J. Alphonse’s masculine presenting character on the helm.

Fans clearly connected with Lil Murda, but so did detractors.

Since P Valley‘s season 2 premiere in June, everyone from rappers like Plies and 50 Cent to controversial comedian Lil Duval have come out against the series, calling it traumatizing after watching the gay male love scenes led by Nicholson’s character. These admonishments opened the door for others to do the identical, and Nicholson said it’s taken a little bit of a toll.

“I ain’t gon’ lie, it’s very stressful,” he shared. “But I knew it was going to occur once I took the role—I never thought it will be to this magnitude though.”

To manage, the actor said he turned to cannabis to assist quell his anxiety.

“I’ve at all times smoked, nevertheless it wasn’t until the show began really picking up did I lean more into it for medicinal purposes.”

Nicholson also explained that he’s laying plans to make entry into the cannabis space in tandem with acting, and hopes to eventually retire within the industry. Last yr Chris Ball, Cannapreneur and owner of Ball Family Farms, an LA-based social equity licensed cannabis company, caught wind of Nicholson’s interest and approached him about working with the brand.

J. Alphonse Nicholson Shares How His New Cannabis Brand Eased His Anxiety Following Sudden ‘P. Valley’ Fame

“There have been many other high-profile celebrities that were excited about brand ambassadorship but I knew Alphonse was right for the corporate because he genuinely just wanted learn more concerning the product—he wasn’t in it only for the cash,” Ball explained.

Ball even identified that in negotiations of Nicholson’s brand ambassadorship deal, he told the actor he might’ve needed to front a few of his own money for marketing.

“I knew he was ideal for us when he didn’t even flinch at that,” Ball said. “He just genuinely desires to spread the word concerning the healing powers of cannabis and help further our larger social equity mission.”

Ball, who was formerly incarcerated for selling weed when he was younger, launched the corporate from his legacy experience. Now, he’s aiming to pipeline opportunities to minorities aiming to interrupt into the space, one which has largely been extremely profitable for white owners. The partnership with Nicholson, who also said he sold weed illegally in his youth, is part of the method.

The actor created his own strain with the brand called the Phonzie, a play on his nickname utilized by his family members. In accordance with Ball Family Farms, the product was exclusively pheno-hunted to include terpenes limonene and caryophyllene, that are related to calm and leisure.

J. Alphonse Nicholson Shares How His New Cannabis Brand Eased His Anxiety Following Sudden ‘P. Valley’ Fame
The Phonzie Packaging preview

“I’m super grateful for the entire opportunities coming my way, including this partnership, you already know? It makes the entire other things that come together with fame value it.”

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