The list of well-known celebrities coming out in the open about their love for cannabis just keeps on growing! And the latest one to join the cannabis business bandwagon is no less than Jay-Z.
The billionaire rapper, producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur — named Shawn Carter in real life — enters the rapidly growing cannabis industry formally as chief brand strategist for California-based cannabis company Caliva.
Founded in 2015 in San Jose, the privately owned Caliva announced that Jay-Z had entered a long-term partnership with them. According to the company, Beyonce’s husband will be focusing on outreach programs and on the creative direction of Caliva.
In its statement, the company said that a key component of the rapper’s role is social justice. He plans to increase job training for former prisoners as a way of advancing his social justice efforts. He will also be advocating fairness and quality in the legal marijuana industry.
All these will help create more opportunities in the cannabis industry for those who have been negatively affected by the government’s War on Drugs.
Earlier this year, the 49-year-old musician helped launch a criminal justice organization called the Reform Alliance. The group’s goal is to help get a million Americans out of jail and on parole or probation within the next five years.
Dennis O’Malley, Caliva’s chief executive officer, told CNN Business that they take this partnership with a lot of humility, a lot of accountability, and a lot of responsibility moving forward.
O’Malley added that Jay-Z will focus on and work to increase the economic participation of individuals returning from prison. He pointed out that many of these people do not see the economic benefits of legalization, but that through advocacy, job training, and workforce and employee development, this can be achieved.
Jay-Z was just recently named by Forbes magazine as the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire, thanks to his Roc Nation entertainment outfit and his investments in champagne, clothing, and the transportation service Uber.
In his statement, Jay-Z said that in anything he does, he wants to “do it correctly and at the highest level.” He explained that Caliva makes the best partner for this endeavor given all the potential in the cannabis industry, as well as the company’s ethos and experience.
He added that he wants to create something amazing, do good and bring people along the way, and to have fun in the process.
Jay-Z is not the first celebrity to team up with Caliva. Former NFL superstar and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Montana had also invested in Caliva earlier.