J. Alphonse Nicholson is gaining traction in the spotlight with his breakout role as “Lil Murda” on Starz’s hit series “P-Valley.”
Now he’s capitalizing on his growing popularity by shining a spotlight on the growing cannabis industry with the launch of his own cannabis strain in partnership with Black-owned Ball Family Farms.
Landing a brand ambassador role
Cannabis transformed Nicholson’s daily life and only furthered his acting career. Despite the actor’s on-screen confidence, anxiety was a crippling factor that Nicholson dealt with early on.
During his adult years, Nicholson became an avid cannabis user because the plant helped relieve his anxiety. Now he has a newfound appreciation for the use of cannabis, which led to him becoming a Ball Family Farms brand ambassador in 2020.
“I wanted to support someone who not only did I believe in their craft on the celebrity side or on the acting side or on that side of pop culture, but I also wanted to support someone who is actually a cannabis advocate” , Chris Ball, CEO of Ball Family Farms, told AfroTech.
He added: “That’s why we chose J Alphonse. We are more than proud of what he has done, what he has achieved and what he will do.
Two years later, Alphonse releases his first variety of cannabis
Now, after two years of carrying the title under the black-owned cannabis company, Nicholson is back with his own strain.
As reported by AfroTech, Ball and Alphonse joined forces to release “The Phonzie” strain, which introduced consumers to the positive effects of cannabis consumption by invoking feelings of calm and relaxation through high-potency cannabis. terpenes.
“Shout out cannabis, being my medicine, my vice, such a beautiful plant that helps calm my anxiety and keeps me relaxed, focused and fierce. Coming into college, obviously, high school, it was one of those things where everybody, we smoke, we get high, but by the time I had time to say, age 22, 23 is when I really realized it was a coping mechanism for me and a medicine to help ease my anxiety,” Alphonse told AfroTech.
He continued, “Fast forward to ‘P Valley’ – that’s a huge shoe to fill with this Lil Murda character. He’s a very complex character. I knew I was going to need something to help me out. to stay relaxed, [and] calm my anxiety. I met Chris Ball right at the height of that, right at the height of the show coming out in 2020. We became really good friends. I eventually became the Ball Family Farms brand ambassador, and told him that I also wanted to be in the cannabis industry and help create a strain that would make people feel exactly what I felt when I smoked them. Ball Family Farms products.
It took 18 months to find the perfect phenotype
For 18 months, Alphonse researched the best phenotype of a strain for mass production. He first visited the facilities of Ball Family Farms and filtered countless flowers. The actor then had an idea of what he hoped to bring to the cannabis space.
More varieties on the way
Outside of creating his ideal flower, Alphonse focused on gaining as much knowledge as possible while working closely with Ball. This will surely come in handy as the pair plan to keep the momentum going for more collaborations in the future.
“It’s my first variety. It won’t be my last, but now I’m learning what it takes to put it together. Finances are a lot to make sure you can deliver a quality plant , quality medicine for people, for the community. And we do it for our people. That’s what I love about Chris,” Alphonse told AfroTech.
Breaking the stigma around cannabis use
Alphonse and Balls’ partnership is a win for the cannabis space, especially within the black community, and they don’t take their efforts lightly. They understand that there is a bigger goal ahead as there are still many stereotypes surrounding cannabis use.
“I think we are already doing an incredible job of letting people know that cannabis is for everyone. It can be used for many different purposes. If it’s not for you, that’s okay too,” Alphonse said.
Chris Ball added: “Black people, we carried cannabis on our backs for 50 years. Our families have suffered. I suffered for it. I was charged and incarcerated federally for this. So, now that it’s legal, I want to introduce a lifestyle to people of color.
The full interview
For the full interview, check out Blavity TV.