File: Jay-Z. AFP/Craig Barritt
WASHINGTON - Superstar rapper Jay-Z has launched a new $10-million cannabis venture to invest in black-owned firms, in an effort to help a community that historically face more harsh punishment for marijuana use.
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, already a cannabis entrepreneur, will serve as "chief visionary officer" of The Parent Company (TPCO), which aims "to help rectify the wrongs of cannabis prohibition."
"We are focused on diversifying both the business leadership and workforce of the cannabis," the company said in a recent statement.
The fund launches at a time when US states have legalised marijuana use, and more cannabidiol products have become ubiquitous, sparking an investment frenzy.
"This is an incredible time for this industry. The end of cannabis prohibition is here, and The Parent Company will lead the charge to a more expansive and inclusive cannabis industry," Jay-Z said in the statement.
In addition to the initial target of $10-million in The Parent Company Social Equity Ventures the company plans to provide "an annual contribution of at least 2 percent of net income" to the industry.
TPCO, formerly Subversive Capital Acquisition, was formed through a tie-up of direct-to-consumer cannabis platform Caliva, Jay-Z's Roc Nation and Left Coast Ventures.
Singers Rihanna and DJ Khaled also are investors in the venture.
Beyond investing, TPCO said "the fund will also support organisations and programmes focused on diversifying the cannabis workforce through job fairs and placement, industry training and education, as well as Social Equity application support."