Celebs are cashing in on the cannabis industry. It’s not just multi-platinum rapper, entrepreneur and the newly appointed Chief Visionary Officer of The Parent Company Holdings, Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, either. Jay-Z and cannabis are now a thing with his new minority-owned cannabis company.
Even Rhi-Rhi, an avid consumer of all things cannabis, joined friend and mentor Jay-Z in backing a vertically integrated cannabis company with an initial target of investing 10 million dollars into a social equity fund for minority-owned cannabis businesses. Rhi-Rhi is short for Rhianna (for anyone stuck in an alternate universe).
They’re literally creating and scaling an umbrella (ella … ella) company of brands that can help define what social impact and supporting minority-owned cannabis businesses looks like.
Celebrities and Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses
Celebrities and cannabis have often coexisted. However, the once-popular symbol of subculture is now seeing an unprecedented opportunity in a post-prohibition world with a roaring legal, regulated cannabis market.
But, what do strategic partnerships between Jay Z, Rhianna and other household names mean for regulated cannabis, and how will the collaborations create opportunities for minority-owned cannabis businesses? How can leveraging the influence of high-profile entertainers and activists with the capital of large cannabis companies impact minority-owned cannabis businesses?
The Largest Cannabis SPAC in History: The Parent Company Holdings Corporation
What’s an SPAC?
SPAC stands for “Special Purpose Acquisition Company”. It is a company created solely to acquire another business with the intention of taking it public. By combining their efforts through a public merger, Caliva (CMG Partners Inc.) and Left Coast Ventures, Inc. formed The Parent Company Holdings Corporation (TPCO).
Here’s where the other popular rappers and entertainers come in. Rhianna, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and others are also early investors in the company, TPCO. While they are just investors, for now, it is likely there will be future collaborative brands launched between the entertainers (the brand) and TPCO (the company) brokered through Jay-Z’s media house Roc Nation.
How Did They Score Jay-Z and Roc Nation?
I guess you could call it luck. Jay Z happened to have a preexisting relationship with Caliva, a company whose products are in over 200 dispensaries and available through delivery in many cities from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where they collaborated on his luxury cannabis and lifestyle brand, Monogram.
So, when Michael Auerbach, founder of Subversive Capital and himself a “lifelong activist”, the lone architect who envisioned the now-famous merger between Caliva and Left Coast Ventures becoming TPCO had one condition. His one condition was that the new company must include an initial 10 million dollar impact fund directly targeting minority-owned cannabis businesses. Talk about equity, representation and uplifting the lives of minority communities!
10 Million Ways Jay-Z & TPCO Aim to Support Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses
Through their 10 Million dollar social equity fund, TPCO is targeting the very communities most negatively impacted by the War on Drugs, Black and Brown people and will also include a 2% revenue commitment to further diversifying the regulated cannabis market and support minority-owned cannabis businesses.
The Parent Company’s brand strategy in partnership with Roc Nation proclaimed that, “the brands we build together will pave a new path forward for a legacy rooted in equity, access and justice”, according to a 2020 press release announcing the merger and the intended impact on social equity efforts in regulated cannabis.
“We’re going to create opportunities for minorities in this space, which is very exciting for me”, said Jay-Z in a virtual investment conference presentation earlier this year when discussing the strategic vision of TPCO.
TPCO further explains on their website, that “the Parent Company is on a mission to create the most impactful cannabis company in the world, by combining best-in-class operations with leading voices in popular culture and social impact”.
A Look Ahead for Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses
We’ll keep an eye out for announcements and other info regarding recipients of funds from TPCO’s 10 million dollar impact fund. It will be exciting to see how substantial seed money can directly impact the lives of those most negatively harmed by the War on Drugs, communities of color.
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