Sean “Diddy” Combs To Launch Biggest Black-Owned Marijuana Company

Sean “Diddy” Combs To Launch Biggest Black-Owned Marijuana Company

The media and fashion mogul will purchase assets in three states to form the country’s largest black-owned cannabis company.

With the $185 million acquisition of existing licensed marijuana operations from Cresco Labs and Columbia care, Combs announced this past Friday his launching of the world’s largest African-American-owned cannabis brand. The two multistate cannabis companies were required to divest the assets as part of a previous merger agreement between the organizations earlier this year.


If approved by state and federal regulators, the creation of this historic enterprise would add to Combs’ already wildly successful endeavors in entertainment, media, fashion, and alcohol. As the Chairman and CEO of Combs Enterprises, the iconic hip-hop artist and entrepreneur stated that the focus of his purchase was to address the stark inequities in the cannabis industry, primarily regarding minority ownership. His point was further supported by a legislative report released in Maryland this week detailing that 81% of marijuana businesses are white-owned.


According to many aspiring black entrepreneurs, financing barriers make it nearly impossible to succeed in the burgeoning and potentially lucrative cannabis industry for all those lacking the deep reservoirs of capital necessary to provide the substantial start-up outlays required to get a foothold in the highly desirable sector. Likewise, these obstacles to participating in the new legal markets come on the heels of decades of marijuana prohibition that witnessed disproportionate arrests and incarcerations of black and brown people, primarily for minor THC-related offenses.


In a statement, Combs explained, “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. (In addition), 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.”


"“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. (In addition), 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.”

- Sean "Diddy" Combs, Chairman and CEO of Combs Enterprises


Under the agreement, a new company controlled by Combs will purchase nine marijuana retail outlets and three production factories in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts with $110 million in cash and debt financing of another $45 million. Additional future disbursements based on agreed-upon growth benchmarks will eventually push the total amount to $185 million. One of Combs’ main goals will be to leverage the transformative venture to help provide more opportunities for African American involvement in the industry.


Echoing his support for this goal, Cresco CEO Charlie Bachtell, in a statement, shared, “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.”


"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.”

- Cresco CEO Charlie Bachtell


As Combs’ first foray into the cannabis sector, the historical purchase and agreement will establish the first minority-owned and operated, fully integrated multistate marijuana operator in the United States. In an industry expected to grow to over $72 billion by 2030, his vertically unified operations in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts will enable the new company to cultivate and create cannabis product offerings. Moreover, its wholesale and distribution arms will be able to market branded products to licensed dispensaries in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.


Columbia Care CEO and Co-founder Nicholas Vita shares, “These assets offer the Combs’ team significant market presence, enabling them to make the most impact on the industry as a whole. It is clear to us that Sean has the right team to carry on the strong legacy of these Columbia Care and Cresco Labs facilities. (We) cannot wait to see how he helps shape the cannabis industry going forward through his entrepreneurial leadership and innovation.”


"These assets offer the Combs’ team significant market presence, enabling them to make the most impact on the industry as a whole. It is clear to us that Sean has the right team to carry on the strong legacy of these Columbia Care and Cresco Labs facilities. (We) cannot wait to see how he helps shape the cannabis industry going forward through his entrepreneurial leadership and innovation.”

- Columbia Care CEO and Co-founder Nicholas Vita


The cannabis industry and the marijuana plant are entering a new and exciting phase in the development, growth, and maturation of one of the world’s most extraordinary and impactful commercial, health, and wellness endeavors. As more creative and talented individuals like Mr. Combs receive access to these new avenues to apply their skills and talents in this highly competitive arena, the sky’s the limit on what new advancements could be on the horizon. So here’s to more inclusion and opportunities for all those like-minded souls pushing for an expanded field of Imagineers and Innovators in the magical world of marijuana.