JAY-Z is investing $10 million in seed money into a fund to benefit BIPOC
cannabis business owners hoping to establish themselves in the industry. 

The 51-year-old said he was moved by the disproportionate number of BIPOC in the marijuana business as compared to the number of Black people penalized or jailed for their use or possession of weed, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s really unbelievable how that can happen,” the rap mogul and social philanthropist said. “We were the ones most negatively affected by the war on drugs, and America has turned around and created a business from it that’s worth billions.”

In developing the investment fund, the Brooklyn, New York native aims to diversify the legalized cannabis industry by investing in marijuana businesses owned by Black people and other minorities who have been stifled from ownership in the lucrative industry.

The WSJ reports that the cannabis industry has grown into a $20 billion market since California first legalized it almost 25 years ago. It is expected to develop into a $70 billion domestic industry by 2030, surpassing the country’s wine market. 

JAY-Z, via Roc Nation, is collaborating with California cannabis firms Left Coast Ventures and CMG Partners to merge into an organization known as The Parent Company. JAY-Z will serve as the collaborative’s chief visionary officer, according to Cheddar.com. He will be joined on the leadership team by Desiree Perez, the CEO of Carter's Roc Nation brand.

“Jay has really expanded from his role as a brand strategist for Caliva to Chief Visionary Officer of The Parent Company,” Steve Allen, CEO of The Parent Company, said. “Really, to oversee the entire brand architecture and we were excited by the products that rolled out in December.”

He added, “We’re looking forward to the continued innovation that Mr. Carter and his team are bringing to the cannabis space and really doing so with an eye toward the social equity and social justice components.”

In a press release, The Parent Company stated that it will open the “Social Equity Ventures” fund with an initial $10 million and then add at least two percent of its net income from year to year. 

For each of the potential partnering businesses, the fund is looking to invest up to $1 million to help grow its operation, per the WSJ.

The goal for Carter is to use his platform to do “something in a real, concrete way,” where he plays a part in creating positive change in our society.

"This is an incredible time for this industry,” he began. “The end of cannabis prohibition is here, and The Parent Company will lead the charge to a more expansive and inclusive cannabis industry. We are paving a path forward for a legacy rooted in dignity, justice, care and consistency. The brands we build will redefine growth, social impact and social equity. This is our time. I'm proud and excited to lead the vision of The Parent Company."

JAY-Z and rapper Meek Mill joined forces with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to create the Reform Alliance last year, as Blavity previously reported. In October, the prison reform advocacy group celebrated after it successfully lobbied for California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a new law restricting the length of probation periods for state misdemeanor and felony offenses.