Diddy Makes Moves into Weed with $185 Million Deal.

Liz Filmer
09 Nov 2022

Puffy" could soon be the boss of the world's first and largest minority-owned weed company. On Friday, November 4th, the music/fashion/spirits/media mogul Sean "diddy" Combs announced that he plans to invest significantly in legal cannabis with a proposed $185 million deal to acquire licensed weed operations in three legal US states. 

The Deal would create the most prominent Black-owned and licensed cannabis company if approved. Something which Diddy wants to increase Black presence and participation in the industry.

"It's diabolical, how do you lock up whole communities of people, break down their family structure, their futures, and then legalise cannabis and make sure that those same people don't get a chance to benefit or resurrect their lives from it?" Combs- talking to the Wall Street Journal 

In the 25 years since California first legalised medicinal cannabis, it has evolved into a $27 billion legal business. However, black cannabis entrepreneurs are still in the minority, accounting for less than 2% of the nation's legal weed businesses, which employ around 500,000 people. Black entrepreneurs looking at getting involved have reported difficulties in finding capital, financing and banking services.

"Two percent? All the years, all the pain, all the incarceration… To me, it was important to do a big deal like this."

Diddy's Deal focuses on purchasing two of the most significant cannabis companies in the country. Cresco Labs Inc. is valued at $1 billion, whilst Columbia Care Inc. is valued at $500 million. The buy-in includes $110 million cash and debt financing of $45 million. It will give the Hip hop Mogul nine retail stores and three production facilities in three vital legal states, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois.

"My mission has always been to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in industries where we've traditionally been denied access, and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a more equitable future in cannabis," 

Owning the entire process, from cultivation to marketing, retail, and wholesale distribution, will allow Diddy to distribute branded cannabis products to licensed dispensaries in significant areas, including New York, Boston and Chicago. He will also benefit from operating retail stores in all three states.

"It is a historic win for the culture that will allow us to empower diverse leaders throughout the ecosystem and be bold advocates for inclusion."

The Deal brings nearer the closing of Cresco's formerly declared acquisition of Columbia Care and its push for more diverse leadership and perspective in the sector.

"The substantial presence of a minority-owned operator in some of the most influential markets in the country is led by one of the most prolific and impactful entrepreneurs of our time is momentous… and incredibly exciting. We're thrilled to welcome Sean and his team to the industry," Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell.

Columbia CEO Nicholas Vita was equally as pleased, commenting, "These assets offer Combs and his team significant market presence, enabling them to make the most impact on the industry as a whole. It's clear to us that Sean has the right team to carry on the strong legacy of these Columbia Care and Cresco Labs facilities, and we can't wait to see how he helps shape the cannabis industry in the future through his entrepreneurial leadership and innovation."


Liz Filmer