KISS' Gene Simmons has spoken frankly in recent years about his personal decision not to indulge in drugs, while also being critical of those in the rock industry who do. So it came as a bit of a surprise recently when Simmons was named as one of the backers and "Chief Evangelist Officer" for the Canadian cannabis producer Invictus.

As a member of KISS, Simmons has been a shrewd business person expanding the branding of the band arguably further than any other act in rock. But what of his backing of Invictus and does it conflict with his personal views? Simmons told The Toronto Sun, “I was wrong and I was not informed. Well, drug abuse, you don’t have to be a genius (to know that’s wrong) and alcohol abuse, everybody knows that’s wrong but I’ve been dismissive of cannabis. And I didn’t know much about it. I just dismissed it out of hand.”

“I have to man up and admit in the past, I used to dismiss lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance,” he continued. “About three years ago when I did my own research, I found out astonishingly new information that doctors and researchers were talking about with regards to cannabis.”

Speaking about his involvement with Invictus, Simmons states, "The appeal Invictus has for me is I’m bullish on the company and as an investment strategy for myself. For me this is a great business opportunity. As a matter of full disclosure, I’ve got 10 million in stock in the company and I’m glad to do it.”

Simmons was on hand at the TSX Venture Exchange this past Tuesday (March 20) to ring the morning bell as Invictus changed its share ticker name from IMH to GENE.

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