Jay-Z launches Monogram, his own cannabis line

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Jay-Z

FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2018, file photo, honoree Jay-Z speaks onstage at the 2018 Pre-Grammy Gala And Salute To Industry Icons at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York. Jay-Z’s business entities have sued a New York City licensing firm, claiming it cheated the companies as part of a “colossal accounting scandal.” The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Manhattan, accuses Iconix Brand Group Inc. of lying about its finances when it made deals with the rapper’s Roc Nation apparel company. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

(CBS) — Jay-Z is growing his empire. The 50-year-old rapper and music mogul announced Friday that he is launching his first line of cannabis in a joint venture with Caliva, a California-based weed company. The rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, teamed up with Caliva last year when he became the brand’s chief brand strategist. Since then, he’s been working on developing his own line of marijuana, named Monogram.

The company debuted its website and an Instagram account Friday, providing fans with a first glimpse of the product. Accompanying the site was a playlist curated by Jay-Z on his streaming platform Tidal called “Monogram: Sounds from the grow room,” featuring an array of artists such as Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse.

According to a press release, Monogram wants to “redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” with “careful strain selection, meticulous cultivation practices and uncompromising quality.” The company’s website said experts grow the Monogram flower so that each plant receives “personalized attention.”

A worker at Monogram monitoring plants.
COURTESY: MONOGRAM

Monogram is the latest in Jay-Z’s long list of business ventures, which, along with his music career, earned him a place in the elite club of entertainers who have hit billionaire status. As well as feeding his entrepreneurial appetite, the star has also been busy as an outspoken advocate for social justice reform, and as he moves into the legal cannabis marketplace, he plans to continue doing so. As part of his role with Caliva, Jay-Z plans to aid people who were incarcerated on marijuana-related charges.

“In this position, Mr. Carter will focus on and work to increase the economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration – many of whom are not seeing the monetary benefits of legalization – through advocacy, job training, and overall employee and workforce development,” the company said at the time.

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