Published on July 22, 2019
Contributors: Alyssa Piersimoni and Matt Hull

It’s safe to say that the cannabis industry has been exploding across the country (and world) for some time now. Whether it’s legal weed or hemp-derived products, it seems that everyone wants in on this lucrative industry. Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, recently went public with his new partnership with California-based cannabis consumer product company, Caliva. Carter’s partnership named him Chief Brand Strategist, where he will “play a crucial role in driving creative direction, outreach efforts and strategy for the brand,” according to Caliva.

This is far from Carter’s first business endeavor; he owns a chain of nightclubs, a champagne brand, co-founded his own record company and clothing line and has had shares in multiple sports teams – just to name a few. Jay-Z went from a teen selling drugs in Brooklyn, to a renowned rapper to a successful businessman.

“Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” Jay-Z said in a statement when the partnership was announced. “With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos makes them the best partner for this endeavor.”

Jay-Z isn’t the only celebrity involved in the hemp industry either; Snoop Dogg has been a long standing advocate for cannabis and in 2015, he co-founded “Leafs by Snoop,” a company specializing in cannabis flower and edibles. Whoopi Goldberg co-founded “Whoopi and Maya,” in 2016, an all female-owned cannabis consumables firm that specializes in cannabis-infused products for relief from menstrual pain.

It’s no secret that Tommy Chong has always been in support of cannabis; known for his marijuana-themed film Cheech and Chong, he founded “Chong’s Choice” in 2016, a Colorado-based company that sells cannabis products. Damian Marley, reggae artist and the youngest son of Bob Marley, acquired a controlling interest of the magazine “High Times” (with investment firm Oreva Capital) in 2017. High Times is “the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business,” according to the New York Times.

Some celebrities are just recently discovering the benefits of using hemp-derived products; such as singer/dancer/actress, Mandy Moore, who says she uses CBD oil on her feet to help with high heel pain. Actor/filmmaker, Tom Hanks has used CBD oil to help with his anxiety and arthritis. Busy Philipps, actress/writer/producer, uses both CBD and THC gummies to help with her anxiety.

Michael J. Fox has been using cannabis and CBD oil for years to help counter the effects of his Parkinson’s disease, which has helped him to continue his acting career. Fox founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research in 2000, which has intensely studied the benefits of cannabis and CBD for helping those diagnosed with Parkinson’s and the effects of the chronic disease.

Celebrities utilizing their fame and wealth to support cannabis and hemp-derived products are aiding the hemp industry as well as the stigma of weed in general. While (some) politicians and governments may never approve of the use of cannabis, there’s no arguing the health and wellness benefits to this incredibly beneficial plant.

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