Anita Thompson said she saved six different kinds of marijuana smoked by her husband and is working with a cannabis company to re-grow the strains or hybrids of them. The crop will eventually be sold at recreational dispensaries under the Gonzo brand.
“Since it became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,” Thompson said. “I’ve had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying ‘No’ because it’s the same story every time: Somebody wants to slap Hunter’s name on their strain … If I put Hunter’s name on somebody else’s strain, I can never go back and say, ‘No, this is the authentic one.'”
While Thompson joked that she’s “looking forward to being a drug lord,” she purposely put off the project for the first decade after her husband’s death to focus on preserving his literary legacy. “For 10 years, we were always careful to steer the conversation back to Hunter’s work,” she said. “Because it was never guaranteed that Hunter’s work would be appreciated into this generation.”
The project was also prompted by her recent acquisition of Owl Farm, the author’s longtime home in Woody Creek, Colorado. Before his death by suicide, Thompson decided that his wife would be allowed to live on the property, but that it would be owned by the Gonzo Trust, a legal entity overseen by his attorneys and trustees. In June, Anita bought the property back for $500,000, forfeiting her rights as beneficiary of Thompson’s book sales, but gaining full ownership of the famous Gonzo logo and the rights to Thompson’s likeness.
Using the profits from the cannabis deal, Anita Thompson also said she hoped to renovate Owl Farm and turn it into a private museum and writer’s retreat. The Owl Farm museum would be open to visitors by appointment and could start welcoming guests as early as May 2017. Thompson said she is also planning to open a public museum space elsewhere, either in Woody Creek or nearby Aspen.