Article by Fahiemah Al-Ali and Frank Holland, CNBC
Jay-Z just became the latest celebrity to launch a pot business.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter — the billionaire rapper and global business mogul behind a multitude of successful companies including D’Usse cognac, streaming service Tidal and entertainment firm Roc Nation — can now add premium cannabis brand Monogram to his portfolio.
Monogram’s core collection rolled out Thursday. Retailing between $40 and $70, the products include several cannabis strains designated as light, medium and heavy — available in pre-rolled cigars and joints and tins of cannabis flower.
In a statement obtained by CNBC, Jay-Z said his vision for the brand is “cannabis redefined.”
“Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, yet it is still an industry whose legacy of skilled craftsmanship is often overlooked,” he said. “I created Monogram to give cannabis the respect it deserves by showcasing the tremendous hard work, time and care that go into crafting a superior smoke. Monogram products are next level when it comes to quality and consistency and we’re just getting started.”
Jay-Z — who once famously referred to himself as a “business, man” not a “businessman” — joins a growing list of artists getting into the pot industry.
In 2019, hip-hop artist Jim Jones and celebrity jeweler Alex Todd teamed up to launch their own curated premium cannabis line Saucey Farms and Extracts. Canadian rapper and hip-hop icon Drake announced his own branded marijuana line from his More Life Growth Co. last year, a venture he launched in partnership with pot production giant Canopy Growth based in his hometown of Toronto where marijuana was legalized in 2018.
As for Monogram, it was the first brand born out of Jay-Z’s partnership with Caliva. The entrepreneur joined forces with Caliva in July 2019 to start bringing the vision for his flagship cannabis line to life.
In November, Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp. — the largest pot special acquisition company in history — agreed to acquire Caliva and another established California cannabis company Left Coast Ventures to form a new entity called The Parent Co.
Subversive Capital Chairman Michael Auerbach, told CNBC he expects the musical entrepreneur’s influence to generate great interest in its shares and products. “Certainly Jay-Z and the affiliation with Roc Nation is going to get eyeballs on our company and eyeballs on our stock,” Auerbach said. “We expect there’ll be a lot of influx in our name because of that relationship.”
Jay-Z will take on an executive leadership role in The Parent Co., guiding the brand strategy as its chief visionary officer. He will also lead the firm’s Social Equity Ventures Fund aimed at investing in Black-owned and minority-owned cannabis businesses.
The SPAC transaction is expected to close in January, and the stock will trade on the NEO Exchange in Canada and will be available to U.S. investors in the over-the-counter market.