Jay-z, the award winning rapper, entrepreneur, producer, and philanthropist has entered into a multilayer deal with San Jose, California-based Caliva. Jay-Z joins a growing list of celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, and Willie Nelson who have strategically moved into cannabis business.
Caliva grows, manufactures, and sells a large variety of branded cannabis products online. This includes pre-rolled joints, cannabis flower, edibles, vaporizers, and topical lotions.
In a statement last week, Carter said, “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 makes them the best partner for this endeavor”.
Caliva is a burgeoning California company boasting investors like former NFL quarterback, Joe Montana. Jay-Z will be playing the role of chief brand strategist. Consequently, he will help to influence Caliva’s creative direction as well as be involved in outreach programs—like advocacy, training, and workforce development—to help create more opportunities in the industry for people who were negatively affected by the War on Drugs.
In a statement about the impact of Jay-Z’s presence in the industry, Caliva’s officals said, “We think this is a sea change in terms of the visibility to the industry. We take this partnership with a lot of responsibility, a lot of humility, a lot of accountability moving forward. In this position, Mr. Carter will focus on and work to increase the economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration—many of who are not seeing the monetary benefits of legalization—through advocacy, job training and overall employee and workforce development.”
Reacting to the partnership, Dennis O’Malley, the CEO of Caliva said, “Today we announced a long-term partnership with Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z. When we started to understand the reason behind Jay-Z getting into the cannabis industry, what he believed in and his success in business, we really felt well-aligned. He believes in our vision in bringing plant-based solutions to people’s everyday lives, to improve their everyday lives. We hope this relationship with Jay-Z does bring awareness that this [marijuana] is a very viable, safe, and trusted way to be able to help your pain, sleep and anxiety and to live a better life.”
Earlier this year, Caliva was able to raise $75 million from an investment round that saw the likes of former Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz and Montana join the team. Caliva has also partnered with ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry’s to support Code for America and Clear My Record. Clear My Record is an organization that assists people erase non-violent marijuana convictions from their records.
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