Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs acquires cannabis company for up to $185 million

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winters | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Hip-hop mogul and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs ventures into the world of cannabis.

Combs has agreed to acquire licensed cannabis operations in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc., in a deal valued at up to $185 million. The transaction marks Combs’ first investment in cannabis and will create the country’s first vertically integrated minority-owned cannabis company as well as the world’s largest black-owned cannabis company, according to a press release from Combs and the companies.

The transaction comes after Cresco Labs agreed earlier this year to buy rival Columbia Care in a $2 billion deal that would make Cresco the top U.S. cannabis producer. It was one of the biggest deals in the cannabis industry, forcing Cresco to divest assets in limited-license markets like New York.

The deal includes four retail stores and a manufacturing facility in upstate New York; three retail stores and a manufacturing facility in Massachusetts; and two retail stores and a manufacturing facility in Illinois.

“My mission has always been to create opportunities for black entrepreneurs in industries where we have traditionally been denied access, and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a more equitable future for cannabis,” Combs said in a press release Friday.

The assets give Combs the ability to manufacture branded cannabis products and distribute the products to dispensaries in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Boston and Chicago. Combs will also be able to operate retail stores across the three states.

“Owning the entire process – from growing and manufacturing to marketing, retail and wholesale – is a historic asset to the culture that will allow us to empower diverse leaders across the ecosystem and be bold advocates for inclusion” , added Combs.

Cresco Labs is buying Columbia Care in a $2 billion marijuana merger

“For Cresco, the transaction is an important step toward completing the acquisition of Columbia Care and our leadership position in one of the largest consumer product categories of the future,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs.

Bachtell added that the industry needs “a greater diversity of leadership and perspectives” and that the Combs deal is “incredibly exciting.”

The deal complements Comb’s growing portfolio of corporate businesses, which includes music, fashion, media and spirits.

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