Jay-Z has expanded into the legal weed business, becoming a chief brand strategist for Californian cannabis company Caliva.
The billionaire rapper has reportedly entered into a multi-year partnership with Caliva, where he will focus on shaping their creative direction and improving their outreach efforts.
The 49-year-old will also be using his new role to address social justice issues concerning legalisation. According to a statement, Jay-Z will prioritise ‘advocacy, job training and overall employee and workforce development’.
The multi-Grammy award winner was reportedly the one to reach out to Caliva after searching for the right partner in the legal cannabis industry, Complex reports.
In a statement about his new position, Jay-Z 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 make them the best partners for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.
Jay-Z’s interest in ethical issues within the legal cannabis industry has already been reflected in his previous advocacy work surrounding unfair sentencing.
Earlier this year, the rapper helped launch Reform Alliance, a criminal justice reform foundation dedicated to ‘changing the laws, policies, and practices that perpetuate injustice’.
The 99 Problems rapper has also served as an executive producer for a documentary series about Kalief Browder, a young man who died by suicide after being imprisoned for stealing a backpack.
Caliva CEO, Dennis O’Malley, has made the following statement about the partnership:
For Jay-Z to seek out Caliva as a partner is humbling and confirms our mission of being the most trusted name in cannabis,
To find that we were in complete alignment around our values and ethos was just a home run. We believe this partnership is unparalleled in this or any business and we could not be more pleased to be working with him and have him as our Chief Brand Strategist.
Based in San Jose, Caliva is a private company which hires 600 employees and is built on the values of ‘Absolute Integrity, Positive Energy, Connectedness, Bias Towards Action and Truth Seeking’.
Jay Z working with Caliva & helping those returning from incarceration is something I wanna do. This is amazing 🙌🏾
— dank🌻 (@dankaveli) July 9, 2019
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 US states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalised small amounts of pot for recreational use.
Despite this, there are still many Americans having their lives seriously affected by being arrested on charges of marijuana possession. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, half of all drug arrests in America are for are marijuana, with 89 per cent of these arrests being for possession.
A marijuana conviction can make obtaining housing, work, and education much more difficult. Due to the unequal enforcement of marijuana laws in America, Latinos and African Americans are disproportionately impacted by this stigma.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.