Method Man, the rapper hip-hop star from the Wu-Tang Clan, announced last week he is launching a cannabis business that will prioritize working with and elevating Black and other minority business owners in the cannabis space, Bloomberg News reports.
The new business TICAL — which is named after Method Man’s 1994 solo debut album and stands for “Taking Into Consideration All Lives” — has raised $300,000 in partnership with New York-based JLS Fund for its launch. Method Man owns a 20% stake in the company, which hopes to raise $3 million ahead of its nationwide roll-out.
The business intends to cultivate high-grade cannabis and prioritize distributing it via family- and minority-owned dispensaries.
“Personally, it is essential that we use our brand to help bring awareness to the social, systemic and economic injustice in communities that have struggled with oppressive mass incarceration and racially biased policing policies.” — Method Man, in a statement
Method Man’s announcement comes amid an unprecedented wave of attention to racial inequality in the U.S. prompted by international protests against the police murder of George Floyd and countless others. The issue is especially sensitive in the cannabis space, as people of color are far more likely to be arrested for cannabis use than white people despite similar rates of use. Additionally, the vast majority of cannabis business owners and investors are white males despite the high price being paid by minority communities during prohibition.
In a move echoing Method Man’s business goals, activists at Cannaclusive have recently unveiled InclusiveBase, a database listing U.S. cannabis businesses owned by people of color as a resource for socially conscious cannabis consumers.