Jay-Z may have recently been crowned hip-hop’s first official billionaire, but that doesn’t mean he’s resting on his laurels businesswise. If anything, he’s always been about expansion, and there’s one huge, lucrative industry he has yet to conquer: The legal weed business. Today, Jay announced he was taking the first step into the world of cannabis products, partnering with the California-based company Caliva as Chief Brand Strategist, as reported by Rolling Stone.
As Chief Brand Strategist, Jay will help the company with creative decisions and marketing but has plans to place much of his focus on the social justice issues legalization has presented in recent years. many people formerly incarcerated for marijuana-based offenses have been barred from the lucrative opportunities provided by the burgeoning business and that number disproportionately includes Black and Latino men.
In the statement announcing the move, Jay promised to commit to “advocacy, job training, and overall employee and workforce development.” Jay made the decision to partner with Caliva specifically after thoroughly researching the company, saying: “Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level. With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”
Jay is far from the first rapper to get involved with the business, as B Real, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa all have their own booming brands, and Killer Mike recently stated that rappers deserve much of the credit for helping to decriminalize the plant, mainstreaming it as a mostly harmless recreational drug rather than the scary, controlled substance it was previously billed as.