Actor Jaleel White, the former child star famous for playing Steve Urkel on Family Matters, has announced the launch of a new cannabis brand created in collaboration with 710 Labs. Called ItsPurpl, the new cannabis line appropriately features multiple variants of the popular strain Purple Urkle. It will even include a new strain called Stefan, a reference to Steve Urkel's more charming alter-ego on Family Matters.
"Friends and family always thought it was funny to send me bootlegged pics of myself featured on cannabis products in dispensaries across the country," Jaleel White told Forbes in a recent interview explaining why he decided to get involved in the cannabis industry. "A childhood friend from the second grade is the person I credit with making sure I went about things the right way. Every few months since at least 2016, a new businessman would come along with ideas that felt very exploitative of the Urkel character legacy and money-minded."
The 90s sitcom star added: "At first it was flattering but then it became frustrating seeing and hearing about Purple Urkle in the cannabis marketplace. The thing that always stood out to me was there no clear brand leader for fire purple weed," White recently told Forbes. "It made no sense to me, that no company of significance had claimed this lane, so why not me?"
"710 has never been a brand that pursued celebrity deals or endorsements as our agenda has always been quality above all else," 710 Labs founder Brad Melshenker says. "We tend to let the product speak for itself. But over the years Jaleel and I became friends and organically our conversations developed into a project. He was on a journey to find the real Purple Urkel from back in the early 2000's. Not only that, he wanted to find the most flavorful purple cultivars and had been collecting seeds with his friend Sean over the years just for this purpose."
The ItsPurpl branding shows an ombre-purple Steve Urkel character on sleek black packaging. A limited-edition series of merchandise that includes a waffle maker, will also be available. The series of Purple Urkle strains sold will also include vape pens and "Noodle Doinks," a term for a hand-rolled joint that uses a fusilli noodle as the crutch.
"The Live Resin Pods are still so underrated," White said. "To smoke the end result from such a quality pod has been surreal. I feel a little bit like Willy Wonka, the flavor came out so grape candy. Edibles are definitely an aspiration. But we gotta crawl before we can walk."
White is best known for playing Steve Urkel on Family Matters, a role he reprised in 2019 for the animated series Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?. He also provided the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in the video game character's original cartoon series in the 1990s. More recently, he did voiceover work for DuckTales and Teen Titans Go and had a recurring role on the Netflix sitcom The Big Show Show.
White's ItsPurpl cannabis line will officially launch on April 20, 2021. It will be on dispensary shelves in California initially with plans to grow to more marketplaces in the future. You can stay updated and find out more about the brand at the official website for ItsPurpl. You can read the interview with White about his new product at Forbes.