Jay-Z takes on new venture, joins the cannabis industry as chief brand strategist

Billionaire rapper, producer, and entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will become the chief brand strategist for Caliva, a burgeoning California cannabis company.

Rapper Jay-Z attends the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Music mogul and rapper Jay-Z is adding a new industry to his ever expanding billion dollar portfolio — cannabis.

Jay-Z, 49, is now in partnership with Caliva, a high (no pun intended) end cannabis company based in California, High Times is reporting. He will take over as chief brand strategist, shaping the company’s face with customers and the industry.

Caliva has been around for four years and includes 14 cannabis licenses. It’s considered one of California’s largest producers of cannabis and related products processing 11,000 pounds of the plant each year.

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“Jay is one of the most successful businessmen of our time, and one of the largest brands in entertainment himself,” said Kraig Fox, High Times CEO and president. “As we’ve said before, 2019 is the year of the brand for cannabis. Jay-Z entering the space is clear evidence of that.”

The Brooklyn rapper, who has admitted to selling drugs illegally in his past, is now a purveyor of all things cool and successful. His association with Caliva not only brings an A-list celebrity presence to the green industry, but also lends a sense of legitimacy and indicates where things are headed.

Jay-Z intends for his role to go beyond marketing and social media. Social justice will be a large part as well where he plans to work on correcting inequities involving the “War on Drugs” and the criminal justice system. He will also focus on hiring formerly incarcerated people to work with Caliva.

“Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” the rapper told High Times. “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.”

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Fox believes Jay-Z’s role at Caliva will have worldwide significance in changing the public’s overall perception of cannabis.

“Jay’s focus on developing opportunities for those hurt by the prohibition of cannabis is not only smart for the business bottom line, but crucial to dismantling the decades of consequence bestowed on the segments of the population who were disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs,” Fox said.