Joke’s Up cannabis is anything but a joke; they’re a multi-brand empire encompassing music, cannabis, and fashion. Started by rapper Yung LB and his manager Raybama along with a growing team that they consider family, Joke’s Up ushered in the Runtz Era of cannabis and shows no signs of slowing down.
Runtz and the Rise of Joke’s Up
Yung LB, named for his hometown of Long Beach, California, began his music career over a decade ago. He eventually moved north to the Bay Area where he met his manager Raybama. These two met a man named Nick who is known as the creator of Runtz. The Runtz strain was born sometime before 2017 from crossing Zkittlez with Gelato. Runtz is sweet and sugary, and can invoke a happy, giggly attitude. Yung LB, Raybama, and Nick went into business with Berner, CEO of Cookies, an already popular cannabis brand. Berner bought 50% of Runtz, allowing it to be sold in Cookies stores across America.
Affiliation with Berner gave Yung LB and his team credibility in the cannabis industry. Yung LB was able to promote Runtz while touring across the states, thus beginning the Runtz Era of cannabis. A few years later, Runtz would be rated Leafly’s Strain of the Year in 2020.
Berner and Yung LB | Photo sourced from thelionlabs.com
Partnering Strains with Rappers To Create Different Brands
Joke’s Up uses an ingenious business model of promoting the cannabis through their music and vice versa. This creates strong brand loyalty with fans who identify with the rappers and the cannabis lifestyle. Add in another sub-brand of fashion for the Joke’s Up community and you have an extremely lucrative business.
Many rappers within Joke’s Up have their own custom strain of cannabis to promote. Yung LB’s solo strain is called DNA. Other popular strains are: Pwincess Cutt and Queen Pee by Queen Pee, Honeycombs by Justin Combs, and Freeza by Freeza. Naming the cannabis strain after themselves, or in some cases giving themselves an additional name for the strain. Prime example, Dollas Up Nero became Mr. White Runtz, this approach further intertwines promotion for the musicians and the cannabis products. With so many sub-brands under Joke’s Up comes a multitude of social media accounts, they all add to the promotion of the brand and help build their growing fanbase.
Yung LB inside of a grow room | sourced from IG: @official_YungLB
Joke’s Up Plaza in Downtown LA
Joke’s Up has a handful of locations to visit and shop in person in Los Angeles. Ice Kream Dispensaries are located in Studio City and Downtown LA. The partnership between Joke’s Up and Ice Kream came from Yung LB’s business partner and girlfriend Queen Pee. She approached the store’s owner, Scott, telling him the “Pwincess Cutt strain was already a number one seller at the Cookies stores.” Not wanting to stop there, Queen Pee wanted Ice Kream to be a partner for all of Joke’s Up. Ultimately, that is exactly what happened. Pee said to Scott, “This is the most powerful move you guys can do. Because Ice Kream has this facility with 75,000 square feet for cultivation, and LB is a marketing genius. So here we are.” (Leafly). What a major power couple!
In addition to these dispensaries, Joke’s Up also has a plaza in downtown Los Angeles. Customers can shop the brand’s fashion line, eat at a Benihibachi restaurant, use the car wash, and of course stop by the smoke shop. Clothing to rep Joke’s Up can also be purchased online. Options range from t-shirts and hoodies to shorts and joggers. Free shipping is available for orders over $100.
Shoppers wait outside to enter the Joke’s Up Ice Kream Dispensary grand opening in Studio City, CA. (Amennu McGruder / Leafly)
Joke’s Up has shown continuous growth over the years through its network of music, cannabis and fashion. Yung LB and his team have created some of the most popular strains the cannabis industry has ever seen. With avenues of the brand crossing into multiple industries, there is no telling what’s next for Runtz and the Joke’s Up empire.