Hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur is acquiring marijuana assets to be divested in merger of Cresco Labs and Columbia Care
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, shown performing in Las Vegas in September, says he wants to increase Black participation in the cannabis industry.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
By Jennifer Maloney – Nov. 4, 2022
Sean “Diddy” Combs has agreed to purchase licensed marijuana operations in three states for up to $185 million, adding a new business to a portfolio that includes fashion, media and spirits.
If approved by U.S. and state regulators, the deal could create the nation’s largest Black-owned and licensed cannabis company. Mr. Combs said he wants to use the business as a platform to increase Black participation in the cannabis industry.
He said he decided to enter the market to help address long-running inequities. Black people have been disproportionately arrested for marijuana crimes, research has shown. They also comprise a tiny percentage of those making money from the legal cannabis market. In the 26 years since California first legalized medical marijuana, cannabis has grown into a $27 billion legal business in the U.S. and is projected to reach $42 billion in annual U.S. sales by 2026, according to data service BDSA.
Many Black entrepreneurs seeking to open legal cannabis businesses say they have been hampered by limited access to financing, capital and banking services, among other barriers to entry.
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