Inside JAY-Z’s Weed Factory

Jay-Z’s got 99 problems but slinging weed isn’t one. Say hello to his massive weed factory, an impressive 100,000-square-foot facility the building sits on a busy intersection in San Jose, California. A steady procession of customers shuffles patiently in line at the front-room dispensary, oblivious to the whirring machinations behind closed doors. Only with an employee access card do those doors swing open to the inner labyrinth, in which 11,000 pounds of cannabis are produced each year. Behold the future of the USA, the weed industrial complex in all its terrifying glor, an endless maze of tropical nurseries filled with hundreds of cannabis plants, science labs where chemists extract terpenes from glass beakers to make vape juice, and glass jars of nugs whizz down conveyor belts. Workers in lab coats and hair nets scuttle around hallways lit in eerie hues of burnt orange or blue; some are even wearing gas masks, adding to the sterile, post-apocalyptic vibe. Under the skunky floral perfume, the air smells like money. But lets be clear, the factory technically belongs to The Parent Company (TPCO), which is a publicly traded company —Wall Street’s current fashionable fund-raising vehicle—created with the intention of “rolling up” the California cannabis market, which Jay-Z and Roc Nation joined last year. TPCO consolidates the California cannabis giant Caliva—which processed 1.5 million legal weed transactions in California in 2020, with 17 other weed brands, including Carlos Santana’s Mirayo and Bob Marley’s Marley Natural. TPCO is also vertically integrated, which means it controls the means of production from start to finish., from the plant grow rooms to the package manufacturing to the final sales at the dispensary. With weed quickly becoming a behemoth business to invest in since becoming legal in the USA this is only the start of celebrity back companies to hit the market. Before it was all about the cigarets, soon you’ll be judge on your brand of weed.


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