Rapper and entertainment mogul Sean “Jay-Z” Carter has created a $10 million fund for minority-owned cannabis industry startups, the Wall Street Journal reports. Carter, who launched his own cannabis brand, Monogram, in October and serves as chief brand strategist for California cannabis company Caliva, said people of color comprise just a small percentage of cannabusinesses.
“It’s really unbelievable how that can happen. 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.” – Carter to the Wall Street Journal
Carter’s role with Caliva includes advocacy, job training, and overall employee and workforce development for previously incarcerated people seeking to enter the cannabis space.
The $10 million fund grew out of last month’s $575 million acquisition of California-based CMG Partners Inc. and Left Coast Ventures Inc. by Vancouver-based special purpose acquisition company Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp. Monogram will be a joint venture with the merged company – to be named TPCO Holding Corp. – and part of the Subversive deal will see TPCO seed Carter’s fund and provide another 2% of net income every subsequent year, the report said.
Roc Nation Chief Executive Desiree Perez will run the fund, which will invest as much as $1 million in each cannabis startup they choose.
A 2017 Marijuana Business Daily survey found that just 4.3% of cannabusiness owners and founders were Black and only 19% who either founded or have an ownership stake in a cannabis business identified as a racial minority.