Owned by a Black Man

There is one generation that knows Diddy as Puffy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs, and P. Diddy. That same generation also knows him for his music, his dance moves, and his consistent appearances in his artists’ music videos. On the other hand, there is also a generation that knows Diddy as solely a businessman and a media mogul – a man that owns tequila, Revolt, and now the largest black owned cannabis company in the world.

Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc., two of the largest cannabis companies in the United States, are being acquired by Diddy himself. It has been reported that Diddy agreed to purchase the licensed marijuana operations in three states (New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts) for about $185 million. This acquisition is unlike any other, not simply because its marijuana based, but because Diddy will own the entire process. Growing and manufacturing the cannabis to the marketing, retail, and wholesale distribution are all of the factors that Diddy has taken control over. Once the deal is complete, Diddy will have nine (9) cannabis retail stores, with three (3) of these stores located in the Chicago area, and three (3) production facilities under his belt. Another significant situation about this process is that the entire deal was reviewed and approved by an independent committee of Cresco Lab’s Board and all disinterested Board members. Columbia Care’s Board of Directors approved the transaction as well.

When asked why he decided to purchase the marijuana operations, his reasoning was more than just money. Diddy wanted to create opportunities for black entrepreneurs in industries where black people have been the most negatively targeted. Once the acquisition is final, Diddy will not only be the largest black owned cannabis company in the world, but he will also be the first black investor in marijuana with multistate operations. For those wondering exactly how much money Diddy is putting down to become the first black investor in marijuana - $110 million in cash and $45 million in seller financing. There is an additional $40 million that will be payable post-closing upon completion of certain industry-based

Although Diddy has agreed to purchase, and Cresco and Columbia have agreed to sell, the acquisition still has to be approved by United States legislatures, as well as state legislatures in each of the three states. The sale is still to be completed by the end of March 2023, concurrent with the closing of the Columbia Case acquisition.

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