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Jay-Z Announces Partnership with Bay Area Marijuana Company

This story originally appeared on GreenState.

"I felt so inspired by my teacher's words," Jay-Z wrote in "So Ambitious," a song from his album Blueprint 3 that talks about growing up and staying motivated despite the discouragement of his elders. "I said I would be dead or that I would be a reefer head."

Jay-Z was right to be frustrated by the fact that adults were limiting his childhood dreams, but his teacher was perhaps partially right: Yesterday, the 49-year-old rapper from Brooklyn announced that he was engaging in a multi-year partnership with the San Jose Caliva-based group, the same marijuana brand in which the Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana, has invested earlier this year.

"All I do, I want to do it right and at the highest level," said Jay-Z in an official statement, explaining his extensive research of a marijuana collaborator. "With all the potential of the cannabis industry, Caliva 's expertise and ethics make it the best partner for this company. We want to create something extraordinary, have fun in the process, do good and get people along the way. "

Jay-Z will be the "chief brand strategist". A press release says that he "will play a crucial role in the creative direction, awareness efforts and brand strategy". His work will also aim to increase the economic participation of people after incarceration, "through advocacy, as professional training and overall development of the workforce."

Caliva currently employs over 600 workers, many of whom serve as marijuana delivery drivers. They are paid $ 14-16 per hour full time plus mileage reimbursement and cell phone usage. When the new regulations earlier this year required companies to treat drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, Caliva welcomed them with fixed shifts and added benefits such as insurance. sickness and vacation days.

"The fact that Jay-Z is looking for Caliva as a partner is a source of humility," said President and CEO Dennis O'Malley. "To find that we were perfectly aligned with our values ​​and our philosophy was only a homerun."

High Times, who originally made the news of the partnership, believes that the influence of celebrity advocacy will guide the future of the marijuana industry and, eventually, will transform it.

"Jay's focus on creating opportunities for people affected by the cannabis ban is not only smart for business bottom line, but also for dismantling decades of granted consequences." to segments of the population that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, "CEO Kraig Fox said.

Jay-Z has not announced his inauguration yet, and no financial details have been disclosed.

Amanda Bartlett is an editorial assistant at SFGate. Email: amanda.bartlett@sfchronicle.com

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