Sean Combs may want to revert to the Puff Daddy persona for this new business venture as the mogul is entering the cannabis space and agreed to acquire licensed cannabis operations in New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois from Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc. in a deal worth up to $185 million, according to CNBC.
The deal was sealed and delivered after Cresco Labs agreed to purchase rival Columbia Care in a $2 billion deal earlier this year, which would make Cresco the top U.S. cannabis producer, becoming one of the biggest deals in the cannabis industry, requiring Cresco to divest assets in limited-license markets such as New York.
According to a press release from Combs and the companies, this marks the entrepreneur’s first investment in cannabis and will create the country’s first minority-owned, vertically integrated multi-state cannabis company and the world’s largest Black-owned cannabis company.
“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 shared in a press release.
“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.”
Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, continued, “For Cresco, the transaction is a major step towards closing the Columbia Care acquisition and our leadership position in one of the largest consumer products categories of the future.”
He also added the cannabis business requires “greater diversity of leadership and perspective” and is “excited” about the partnership with Combs.
The new deal includes four retail stores and one production facility in New York state; three retail stores and one production facility in Massachusetts; and two retail stores and one production facility in Illinois.