“Herb was a great inspiration to me.”

Neville Garrick, Bob Marley’s Art Director

In honor of the 72nd anniversary of Bob Marley’s birthday (and the one-year anniversary of Marley Natural), we’ve released four limited-edition Marley Natural cannabis strains, collectively called The Anniversary Herb Collection.

Who better to design the packaging for the collection than the art director for Bob Marley himself?

Neville Garrick is a Los Angeles-based artist, author and photographer who was Bob Marley's close friend and collaborator. He’s known for creating the covers for some of Bob's most iconic albums, including Rastaman Vibration, Exodus, Kaya, and Survival. He toured the world with The Wailers and designed the lighting and backdrops for many of their concerts. Later, Neville became involved with preserving Bob’s legacy as an executive director of the Bob Marley Foundation. A native of Jamaica, he published the photography book A Rasta’s Pilgrimage: Ethiopian Faces and Places and received Jamaica's Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican music.

Designing the Marley Natural packaging brought back a flood of memories about Bob and the role of cannabis in the creative process.

“Herb was a great inspiration for me,” Neville Garrick said of his artwork for the collection. “When I was designing, I thought back to smoking with Bob and went back through some of the drawings I’d done. I also wanted to take it back to creation and symbolize the ancientness of the herb, the Rasta man, and Ethiopia for an African vibe.”

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For this project, Neville returned to a collection of illustrations he drew during his years with Bob, selecting four he found particularly appropriate. He had a story behind each of them:

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Marley Gold - Sativa: Malawi

Bob Marley and Neville Garrick first enjoyed this strain in 1980 during the Independence Tour stop in Zimbabwe. Soldiers fighting for Zimbabwe’s independence brought him this rare, long flowering pure sativa strain wrapped in banana leaves. Neville’s design incorporates the Malawi flag, textured with the impression the banana leaf left on the herb. Neville drew the golden African head during his tours with Bob.

Marley Green - Hybrid: Sunset Sherbet

This strain took Neville back to the time when he worked on the Kaya album with Bob. Its “mellow mood” reminded him of a sketch he developed of Bob against a sunset in the background. This sketch is making its debut here.

Marley Black - Indica: Jesse’s Girl

Neville’s illustration depicting two Kenyan women he saw in a marketplace is a preliminary study for an image used on the back cover of the Survival album.

Marley Red - High-CBD: Suzie Q

Neville’s artwork here represents two important Ethiopian landmarks: An ancient Obelisk located in Axum (Ethiopia's first capital from Biblical times) and the famous granite lion statue in Addis Ababa. Both reflect the glory of the civilization that created them. Neville used these illustrations to symbolize the long-held Rastafarian belief in the medicinal nature of the herb.

The Anniversary Herb Collection is available exclusively at LAPCG, Universal Collective, Beach Enlightenment and Compassionate Healing Center and The Canary in the Los Angeles Area and Harborside Health Center, Phytologie, CBCB and Basa in the Bay Area.

Hugh Gilmore