Diddy Makes a $185 Million Bet on Weed

Stephen Andrews
11 Nov 2022

P. Diddy could soon become the boss of the world's first and largest minority-owned cannabis company. The famous musician and entrepreneur announced that he plans to invest as much as $185 million in a bid to acquire licensed cannabis operators in three legal states across the US.

Should Puff Diddy's proposed sum be accepted, he would chair the most significant Black-owned and licensed weed company ever. The move is a part of the rapper's agenda to increase Black presence and participation in the budding sector.

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

Black cannabis entrepreneurs still account for a minority in an industry that has well reached a value of $27 billion legal business. It's a testimony to the fact that Black entrepreneurs continue to face more obstacles as they attempt to enter the Cannabis sector. 

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

The rapper's deal focuses on acquiring two of the biggest weed companies in the country. One of them is Cresco Labs, valued at $1 billion, and the other is Columbia Care, valued at $500 million. Both companies are multi-state operators. Given that Puff Diddy completes the purchase, it will get him nine retail shops and three production facilities in three key 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," the mogul said. 

The deal foresees that Diddy assumes control of retail outlets in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Hartford, while assets in Rochester will include both retail and production. 

In Massachusetts, the hip-hop legend will have retail stores in Worcester and Greenfield, while Leicester will accommodate again a retail store and a production asset. 

His Illinois assets will include shops in Chicago, Jefferson Park, and Villa Park, as well as retail and production locations in Aurora. 

Both the CEOs of Cresco Lab and Columbia Care expressed their thrill of Combs joining 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 incredbly exciting. We're thrilled to welcome Sean and his team to the industry," said Charles Bachtell, the CEO of Cresco Lab. 

"These assets offer Combs and his team significant market presence, enabling them to make the most impact on the industry as a whole," commented Nicholas Vita of Columbia Care. "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," added Vita. 

Stephen Andrews