Unifying the Worlds of Cannabis and Gaming
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:11 AM HST|Updated: 1 hours ago
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Famed gaming entrepreneur Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez, founder and CEO of OpTic Gaming, launches his latest venture: Pine Park – a premium cannabis and hemp brand rooted in nostalgia and committed to the discovery and development of the industry.
Inspired by Rodriguez’s teenage hangout outside of Chicago called Pine Park, which was always a safe space for friends to come together, the brand Pine Park aims to make premium cannabis and hemp products inclusive and accessible. Pine Park is poised to be the world’s most welcoming cannabis community.
“Pine Park refers to the place in Chicago I used to sneak out to when I was a teenager and smoke weed. Cannabis has been a central part of my life, and throughout my journey building the esports industry, I’ve developed an incredible community that I’m excited to bring along for this next chapter,” says Rodriguez. “Now that cannabis is legalizing nationally and consumption is becoming normalized, I’m thrilled to be pursuing a lifelong dream of working with cannabis and to have the opportunity to educate myself and my community on how to responsibly grow this industry.”
Anything Rodriguez does, he does with heart, passion and excellence, and he is largely regarded as the most successful homegrown owner in esports, having established one of the most storied organizations within the competitive side of the Call of Duty franchise. In 2015, he received a lifetime achievement award for championing the esports team of the year. The following year, his book “Optic Gaming” made it on The New York Times Bestsellers list.
In addition to his legendary success in the esports arena, Rodriguez has proven to be one of the world’s most successful brand builders among digital first audiences, with over 100 million personal YouTube views and a Content Series of the Year award-winning podcast. A true renaissance man, Rodriguez’s business portfolio spans multiple industries and disciplines, including top bass fishing brand Googan Squad and golf media and apparel company Good Good Golf.
The world of gaming presents an enormous opportunity that has remained untouched by cannabis industry leaders, with 3.1Bn gamers world wide, amounting to a global market of $162Bn with a CAGR of 10.5% by 2026 (Mordor Intelligence). Pine Park spearheads this vacant gap in the industry by directly marketing and engaging with Rodriguez’s immediate network of over 2M devoted fans, with an average age range of 21+. Pine Park, a natural addition to Rodriguez’s empire, has quickly become the most anticipated launch in cannabis this year.
To bring the Pine Park world to life, Rodriguez has partnered with a network of independent cannabis farmers, including Jason Morgan, a Santa Cruz, CA native and third generation strawberry farmer. Morgan’s intimate 9,000 square foot mixed light facility serves as the primary research and development center for Rodriguez’s favorite strains and, eventually , proprietary Pine Park genetics.
To provide an assortment of their best strains in Indica, Sativa and Hybrid SKUs, Rodriguez has tapped two widely respected farms in the Salinas Valley, Waverider Nursery and Posibl Project. As the brand develops, Rodriguez will continue to introduce new product categories through collaborations with best-in-class supply chain partners. Pine Park will be tapping new and established cannabis personalities for a fresh variety of educational and cultural perspectives.
While many celebrities have lent their names to cannabis products, Rodriguez’s goal is to make a long term impact through cannabis and hemp. Rodriguez is the heart of the gaming world, and is leveraging that same passion to his journey into the cannabis world. To do so, he has partnered with OpenNest Labs, a cannabis venture studio that incubates and accelerates next generation brands, to authentically grow the Pine Park products. OpenNest Labs is firmly rooted in the idea that transparency and education are vital to creating an equitable global cannabis market.
“We were introduced to Hector because he had a vision for how to invite his expansive community into the world of cannabis in a responsible way,” says Tyler Wakstein, CEO and co-founder of OpenNest Labs. “While many esports fans are already cannabis users, there has been no beacon of authority or a brand to legitimize the convergence of the plant and gaming, until now. It’s been fun helping co-found Pine Park and realize Hector’s vision in a short amount of time through spearheading introductions to crucial supply chain partners. Sharing the same principles of education, transparency, and a genuine commitment to the equitable development of the industry, it’s been an honor getting to know Hector and bring Pine Park to life.”
Pine Park has partnered with The Parent Company, the largest vertically integrated omni channel platform in California, to distribute its 6 inaugural strains – Blueberry Haze, Modified Mintz, Peanut Butter Breath, Grapes N Cream, Chem Driver and Chem Reserve. Pine Park has all bases covered, with indica, sativa and hybrid strains available.
“Being the exclusive delivery and retail partner of Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez’s Pine Park launch underscores The Parent Company’s commitment to building a more expansive and equitable cannabis industry by providing our customers with an unparalleled product portfolio coupled with an unrivaled means to enjoy those offerings via direct-to-consumer, retail, and delivery options,” says Dennis O’Malley, COO of The Parent Company. “The intersection of cannabis and gaming represents a compelling opportunity to reach the passionate gamer culture and we’re thrilled to welcome HECZ’s fans and the larger esports community into our ecosystem.”
The first Pine Park flower will be available in California on Thursday, October 14th, exclusively through retailer and delivery partner, The Parent Company, with more exclusive drops to come. Pine Park flower can be purchased at The Parent Company’s stores, including their Caliva, Deli by Caliva, and Coastal retail stores or online at www.caliva.com/pinepark or available through the Caliva App on Apple Store.
Pine Park HQ Flower will be available for $40 MSRP and Pine Park Evergreen flower for $36 MSRP.
Pine Park apparel and accessories are available for purchase at www.PINEPARKHQ.com.
WELCOME TO PINE PARK.
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