NEW YORK – Hip-hop superstar and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs invests in the marijuana business.
A deal estimated at $185 million is in the works that would see Combs buy cannabis production facilities and retail businesses from Cresco Labs and Columbia Care in several states, including New York.
“This industry-changing transaction is rooted in Cresco’s vision to develop the most responsible, respectable and resilient industry possible, and advances Combs’ mission to open new doors in emerging industries for Black entrepreneurs and other diverse founders who are underrepresented and underserved.” Press release about the deal states. “Throughout his legendary career, Combs has established himself as one of the most accomplished business leaders and cultural icons.”
New York City Cannabis Industry Association President David Holland explained why Combs’ purchase of Cresco Labs could be significant.
“They’re vertically integrated in New York — meaning they own the growing, processing, shipping and selling of their own goods,” Holland said. “That’s only 10 such licenses issued in New York State and now he’s the owner of at least one of them.”
The deal would allow Combs to have up to eight retail locations, which is otherwise not allowed under New York law, Holland said.
“It will create enormous opportunities,” he added.
From a brand perspective, according to marketing consultant Jon Bond, Diddy can capitalize on its fame.
“Diddy isn’t just an influencer or a celebrity — he’s a guy who’s built a whole brand community,” Bond said. “He has an urban footprint. It’s a bit edgy and so is he. It’s perfect.”
“My mission has always been to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in industries where we have traditionally been denied access,” Combs said in a statement, “and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a… to create a fairer future for cannabis. “