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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs acquires licensed cannabis operations in three states in $185M deal

Nov 4, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
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‘My mission has always been to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in industries where we’ve traditionally been denied access, and this acquisition provides the immediate scale and impact needed to create a more equitable future in cannabis’

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Sean “Diddy” Combs is now a multistate cannabis operator.

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The rapper, record executive and entrepreneur has agreed to acquire licensed cannabis operations in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts from Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc., in a deal worth up to US$185 million.

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According to a press release, the transaction will create the world’s largest Black-owned cannabis company.

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

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“Owning the entire process — from growing and manufacturing to marketing, retail and wholesale distribution — is a historic win for the culture that will allow us to empower diverse leaders throughout the ecosystem and be bold advocates for inclusion,” he added.

Combs’ entity will be licensed to grow, manufacture, wholesale and distribute branded products to licensed dispensaries, as well as operate retail stores in all three states.

In his home state of New York, Combs will now own four retail stores and one production facility. In Massachusetts, where cannabis has surpassed cranberries as the state’s top cash crop, Combs will own three retail stores and one production facility, with an additional two stores in Illinois and one production asset.

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“For an industry in need of greater diversity of leadership and perspective, the substantial presence of a minority-owned operator in some of the most influential markets in the country being led by one of the most prolific and impactful entrepreneurs of our time is momentous … and incredibly exciting. We’re thrilled to welcome Sean and his team to the industry,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs.

The deal is not Combs’ first brush with cannabis. In 2019, he invested in AQUAhydrate, a CBD beverage, alongside Jillian Michaels and Mark Wahlberg

Later that year, it was also reported that Combs planned to work with the former president of Combs Enterprises, Dia Simms, on a branding and distribution company focused on cannabis.

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“I worked with Sean for many, many years,” Simms told Yahoo Finance Canada in an interview. “We’ll see what the future holds in terms of things we will be doing potentially together. I’m not ruling that out.”

Other assets in the Combs Enterprises portfolio include Combs Wine & Spirits, which co-owns DeLeon Tequila and is responsible for all strategic marketing for Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka, fashion and lifestyle brand Sean Jean and Bad Boy Entertainment, a music, media and entertainment company that helped launch the careers of Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Ma$e and many others.

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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