A San Jose-based weed concern called Caliva has just "partnered" with rapper and Beyonce baby daddy Jay-Z, naming him Chief Brand Strategist.
The company says that Jay will "play a crucial role driving creative direction, outreach efforts and strategy for the brand," and his focus will be to "increase the economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration."
Jay-Z has been an outspoken advocate for the formerly incarcerated, who he says lack the economic opportunities that many others have to enter into the legal marijuana industry — despite having been incarcerated for selling weed themselves, in some cases.
In this illustrated video opinion piece in the New York Times from 2016, Jay-Z talked about the failure of the War on Drugs and its disproportionate impact on black and Latinx populations. "If you're entrepreneurial, living in one of the many states that are passing legalize laws, you may still face barriers to participating in the above-ground economy," he said.
As the SF Business Times explains, Caliva launched in 2015 and earlier this year closed a $75 million funding round, which included investment by Joe Montana. The company, which grows, processes, sells, and delivers cannabis, now employs 600 people in California and boasts 150,000 square feet of cultivation, manufacturing and retail space.
"With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos makes them the best partner for this endeavor," says Jay-Z in a release. "We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way."