The 90’s hit show, Family Matters gave birth some of the most iconic characters (Steve Urkel/Stephan and Laura Winslow), legendary phrases (“Did I do that?”) and loveable family moments. Now, the show inadvertently gave birth to the next phase of cannabis. The show’s lead actor, Jaleel White (AKA Steve Urkle), has partnered with a popular dispensary to create a cannabis brand that takes inspiration from his iconic character, according to Forbes.
White’s new line is called ItsPurpl or “Purple Urkle” as one of the products is affectionately called, and it was developed with help from 710 Labs, a licensed dispensary that has multiple locations in Colorado and California.
A product photo from 710 Labs shows one of the containers that hold an eighth of ItsPurple cannabis has a printed message on its cover that reads “Hi Laura,” a reference to Urkel’s onscreen crush Laura Winslow.
“The thing that always stood out to me was there no clear brand leader for fire purple weed,” says Jaleel White. “It made no sense to me, that no company of significance had claimed this lane, so why not me?”
So bow did this How did this interest in cannabis come about? Did White just wake up one day and thought smoking weed would be great?
“It’s tough to say really just how long I’ve been kicking around the idea of itsPurpl, years really,” explains White to Forbes. “I’m just glad I didn’t jump at any of the earlier opportunities because this process with 710 Labs has felt fun and organic from the moment we really got started last Spring, 2020. And this entire undertaking really helped me feel productive during [the] pandemic.”
710 Labs founder Brad Melshenker met White on a flight, and the duo connected over their passion for cannabis. “710 has never been a brand that pursued celebrity deals or endorsements as our agenda has always been quality above all else,” 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 one thing that has stayed consistent with White is his love for his daughter Samaya. Ultimately, it was his parenting that kept him out of the business for so long while he awaited the right opportunity.
“Friends and family always thought it was funny to send me bootlegged pics of myself featured on cannabis products in dispensaries across the country,” White said. “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. My pal Sean would shut them down like a protective big brother. Only one other thing has taught me more patience than this process of getting to market, and that’s parenting my daughter, Samaya.”
According to the actor, right when his daughter was born, he had promised to keep her away from society’s lies, not let his past influence her and raise her to be better than him in every way possible.
“I made a coupla promises to you then,” posts White. “One, I would not feed you the lies society begins teaching our children at a very young age. Your future is not your parents’ past. Two,