Jay-Z Hitting the Cannabis Market with ‘Monogram’

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Billionaire rapper and businessman, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, has announced that he will partner with industry giants to produce a new cannabis line, Monogram.

But is this all that surprising?

Jay-Z has built an entrepreneurial empire and has even impressed the likes of Warren Buffet. In 2010, Forbes reported that at 80 years old, Buffett met with Jay-Z over lunch. Buffet said, “Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classroom than I’ll ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s the guy to learn from.”

Fast forward to 2020, and Jay-Z still has his foot on the gas—and now he’s planning to distribute bags full of it. 

CNN reported that Jay-Z plans to work with Caliva, a California-based cannabis company. After working with the Caliva team last year as its Chief Brand Strategist, it’s time for this partnership to evolve.

“We think this is a sea [of] change in terms of the visibility to the industry,” Dennis O’Malley, Caliva’s CEO, explained to CNN Business. “We take this partnership with a lot of responsibility, a lot of humility, a lot of accountability moving forward.”

The Caliva website boasts impressive teaser shots of high-quality buds. But even as the site gets would-be customers excited about what’s to come, there’s no release date offered. Anyone interested can opt for updates here.

Tidal, Jay-Z’s streaming platform, now has a playlist entitled “Monogram: Sounds From the Grow Room.” This playlist features Bob Marley, OutKast, Cypress Hill, and other artists who have expressed support for the happy herb in their music.

7 KBZK Bozeman reported that Caliva raised $75 million from a group of investors earlier this year. This included Montana and the former CEO of Yahoo, Carol Bartz. Caliva also partnered with Ben & Jerry’s to create a promotional flavor to support Code for America and Clear My Record.

For Monogram’s launch, Jay-Z and the Monogram team have launched a national awareness campaign to push discussions of mass incarcerations related to cannabis-related offences. Cowboy State Daily reported that the cannabis brand now has LED and mobile billboard trucks parked along the Wyoming/Colorado border, the Oregon/Idaho/Colorado borders, and the Kansas/Illinois border for two weeks.

The billboards have two sides to them; one for the legal side, and one for where cannabis is still illegal. On the legal sides, the billboards will read, “Here, cannabis is legal. Enjoy responsibly.” The illegal sides will read, “Here, cannabis is illegal. Avoid the bookings.”

Even as cannabis remains federally illegal, more than half of the U.S. has legalized it in one way or another. But the pandemic has resulted in the industry being deemed essential, and some suspect legalization will continue in other states in 2021.

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