The mogul-turned rapper wants to help people with color get their rightful place in the industry.
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May 4, 2021 4 min read
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With all apologies to the horde of celebrities now in the weed business, right now nobody is hotter (or busier) than Jay Z. The rap mogul has his own line of cannabis products, a job as chief brand strategist at one of the largest company in the industry and a fund that helps others realize their cannabis business dreams.
Jay Z (born Shawn Carter) is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time – and a role model for artists who want to get into the business, which he has successfully done for years. He wants to help other black and minority herb entrepreneurs.
He is motivated by the small number of black people who own cannabis companies, despite being disproportionately punished during the era of the drug war.
“It’s really amazing how that can happen,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “We were the ones hit hardest by the war on drugs, and America turned around and turned it into a billion-dollar business.”
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Jay Z launched its own line of cannabis products in late 2020.
The pursuit of more minority-owned businesses is a note Jay Z meets regularly as he moves into the cannabis business. He’s had many opportunities lately to do just that.
In November 2020, Jay Z was named chief visionary officer for The Parent Company (TPCO), a vertically integrated cannabis company founded by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Company and two California-based companies, Caliva and Left Coast Ventures.
At the time of TPCO’s announcement, Jay Z said, “While we know we cannot completely eradicate the injustices caused by the ‘war on drugs’, we can help create a better and more inclusive future. The brands we build will pave a new path for a legacy based on justice, access and equity. We create something that people can trust and we invest in our future, our people and our communities. “
Part of the new venture was The Parent Company Social Equity Ventures, a corporate venture fund that invests in black and minority-owned cannabis companies.
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Promoting social justice in the cannabis industry.
Jay Z also launched Monogram, its own line of cannabis products. The Monogram line is low volume cannabis that allows the company to “find the nuances between harvests” and get the most out of each flower. Instead of using percentages for THC potency, Monogram lists its products in three categories: light, medium, and heavy.
Monogram has received a lot of publicity in the past few months. GQ toured the Monogram facility. Both The New Yorker and Architectural Digest wrote about Monogram’s latest ad campaign, which mimics the work of Slim Aarons, who became famous in the mid-20th century and “photographed attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”
However, part of Jay-Z’s message from the very beginning of the industry was social justice. In addition to the $ 10 million minority fund, the company must invest 2 percent of annual net proceeds in the fund as part of the TPCO deal.
The fund is expected to pour up to $ 1 million into each minority cannabis company it finances.
He also made sure social justice was mentioned when asked about New York’s recent legalization of adult marijuana. He told The Grio: “I have seen firsthand the damage the war on drugs has caused against blacks and minorities here in New York for generations. Today I am proud that my home state, along with The Parent Company, is paving the way for a thriving and equitable cannabis market. “
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