Jay-Z Joins Growing List of Artists Getting into the Pot Industry

Soft Secrets
14 Dec 2020

List of celebrities who enter the cannabis sector grows and grows. Jay-Z joins fellow rappers Drake, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and others who have so far developed their own cannabis brands.

The cannabis industry just got a new A-list celebrity player as billionaire rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter launched his marijuana line called Monogram.

A year after joining the California-based cannabis company Caliva as a Chief Brand Strategist, the Grammy-award-winning rapper announced in October he is about to create his very own cannabis line. "Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level," the hip-hop mogul said in a statement at the time.

"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." The cannabis line, which launched on December 10, is made up of various cannabis strains named No. 88, No. 96, No. 70, and No. 01 available in tins of marijuana flower, pre-rolled cigars, and joints. The products retailing between $40 and $70 were developed by famous grower DeAndre "De" Watson and come in three strengths: heavy, medium and light.

The flagship product called "OG Hand Roll" is a 1.5-gram joint rolled by "trained artisans" using Monogram's unique technique. Selling at $50, the idea is for the joint to burn like a premium cigar. The Monogram cannabis flower is a two-gram tin grown in small batches to maintain quality and control, and each flower is hand-selected and hand-finished by Monogram experts. It sells for $40.

"With its careful strain selection, meticulous cultivation, and uncompromising quality, Monogram seeks to redefine what cannabis means to consumers today," said a press release of the brand. As of when and whether the Monogram products will be available in dispensaries, it’s still not disclosed. The company plans to launch a “best in class e-commerce platform dedicated exclusively to its singular product line.”

"Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, yet it is still an industry whose legacy of skilled craftsmanship is often overlooked," the rapper said in a statement. "I created Monogram to give cannabis the respect it deserves by showcasing the tremendous hard work, time and care that go into crafting a superior smoke. Monogram products are next level when it comes to quality and consistency and we're just getting started."

In November, Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp., which is one of the most prominent cannabis special acquisition companies (SPAC), agreed to acquire Caliva as well as Left Coast Ventures, another well-established cannabis company based in California. The deal led Caliva and Left Coast Ventures to form "The Parent Co." - the name of the new entity being godfathered by Jay-Z.

When the company went public on Canada's microcap stock exchange NEO last summer, it raised $575 million. The Parent Co. also signed an exclusive agreement with Roc Nation, Jay's entertainment agency, effectively making the agency its cannabis brand partner. The deal, which is due to be closed, will transfer $25 million in stock to Roc Nation and $7.5 million per annum and will grant The Parent Co. access and rights to the roster of artists and athletes affiliated with Roc Nation.

Jay's brand Monogram has emerged from this extensive collaboration between Roc Nation and Subversive Capital. “Certainly Jay-Z and the affiliation with Roc Nation is going to get eyeballs on our company and eyeballs on our stock,” Subversive Capital Chairman Michael Auerbach told CNCB.

“We expect there’ll be a lot of influx in our name because of that relationship,” he said. Apart from being in charge of strategy, outreach efforts and creative decisions, Jay-Z’s role is also meant to improve the representation and participation in the legal cannabis market in order to deal with social justice issues surrounding legalization.

To this end, Jay will lead the company's Social Equity Ventures Fund that will target pot businesses owned by Blacks and minorities. Jay-Z is the latest famous rapper to launch a cannabis line. In 2019, hip hop artist Jim Jones teamed up with celebrity jeweler Alex Todd to launch a premium curated cannabis line called Saucey Farms and Extracts. Around the same time, Canadian rapper Drake rolled out his own pot line from his venture More Life Growth Co. launched in partnership with cannabis production giant Canopy Growth. 2 Chainz launched his own cannabis company, The Gas Cannabis Co in partnership with Green Street Agency and Mazel Management Group.

Famous rappers like Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Freddie Gibbs have also developed their own cannabis strains, and in 2018 B-Real opened his own dispensary in California, named Dr. Greenthumb’s. 

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