Jay-Z signs up as Chief Brand Strategist for cannabis company Caliva
Jay-Z has a list of businesses a mile long these days — not only is the guy a very successful musician, but he has his hands in multiple successful businesses, including his clothing company Rocawear, a sports bar called the 40/40 Club, an entertainment company called Roc Nation, a tech company called Aspiro, which eventually ran his music streaming service Tidal. The guy’s diversified! And now there’s one more business role to add to that list: He’s joined the cannabis company Caliva as a “chief brand strategist.”
Now, you might say this is just a publicity stunt, and you’re probably not wrong about that. Caliva, which has been growing, distributing, and selling cannabis for the past few years, gets to crow about having a big name on board, and Jay-Z gets to add another jewel in his business crown. It’s a win-win for both brands, basically. Caliva does say that the Roc (or as they call him, Mr. Carter) will be involved in the social justice side of the business, helping out with programs to fight back against the injustices of the War on Drugs. And investment money is probably involved as well — Caliva already calls Joe Montana an investor, as well as former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.
But most importantly here, having Jay-Z publicly involved in the cannabis business is another sign that the industry is gaining more and more of a public face every day. As Caliva’s CEO says, “we think this is a sea change in terms of the visibility of the industry.” A Jay-Z might not provide as much validity to investors as, say, Warren Buffet (though he too is connected to cannabis these days), but it does signal to the public that this is an industry that’s reaching the mainstream and is here to stay. We’ll look forward to seeing what results actually come out of this partnership, but if nothing else, Caliva is able to grab some headlines, and maybe some investors who would have scoffed at cannabis might reconsider. And that’s a benefit for the whole industry as we move forward.