Caliva Names Jay-Z Chief Brand Strategist

Hip-hop’s Billionaire to Fuel National Growth in Cannabis Industry

Adding to the exhaustive list of accomplishments, savvy investments and business ventures, hip-hop’s billionaire Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) was recently named Chief Brand Strategist of San Jose, California’s based cannabis company, Caliva. Private, Caliva is a cannabis consumer product company, focused on the direct-to-consumer market within California, enabled by full spectrum *vertical integration.

*Vertical Integration is a plan in which the supply chain of a company is owned by that company. In this deal, each member of the supply chain produces a different product or service and the products combine to satisfy a common need. This type of organizational planning is desired because it secures the supplies needed by the company to produce its product and the market needed to sell the product.

This multiyear-deal joint venture is well aligned. Popular belief is that Jay-Z is curious, exceptionally strategic and one that sits quietly – watching. A value and practice likely bred in his nature long ago as a means of survival. For many, the idea of the mogul breaking into the cannabis industry seems obvious and may not come as a shock. However, when it comes to business it is more of strategy and leverage that supersede the obvious. Keen moves to partner with diverse forward-thinking companies bring opportunities to all involved further maximizing brand power, product and service distribution. Jay-Z gets it. Although a number of other industry vets have partnered with cannabis brands Jay-Z brings a unique aspect to the industry and how business is done today. The powerhouse plane he’s reached is substantially attractive and influential to executives and operations who otherwise wouldn’t have given him a thought in prior years. Yeah, he gets this too. Who executes and who’s taking notes now?

While the company develops and sells a wide range of cannabis products, the focal point is on pain and healing, sleep and anxiety, energy and recovery. Imbedded strategies of the relationship is for Jay-Z to bring product awareness helping to ensure that Caliva products are viable, safe and trusting.  No small feat, immediate plans of the partnership include nationwide brand expansion as Caliva’s CEO & President Dennis O’Malley states “…we really believe that Mr. Carter’s creative genius and his ability to really have the pulse of what a cultural movement is will be able to help Caliva do that” … “Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level. With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos makes them the best partner for this endeavor… We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way”, said by Jay-Z when announcing the partnership.

Company Facts:

  • Established 2015
  • 14 cannabis licenses.
  • 600+ employees (including drivers)
  • Over 750K customers served statewide (CA)
  • Over 250 cannabis retailers carrying Caliva products
  • 3.5x growth year-over-year

To never forget and forever acknowledging his beginnings in Brooklyn, New York’s Marcy Projects, Jay-Z continues to reshape conversations realigning executive thinking on national and global scales. The goal of many including those college educated – he has ultimately changed the way people think. Together, goals of the partnership between Caliva and Jay-Z are to shape new conversations concerning cannabis, its unique usefulness for life and safe developments in the industry. Empowering consumers, developing new ideas and opportunities this endeavor proves to improve not only personal but professional lives as well.


The Caliva Difference: We believe it’s our people. Over the past four years we have applied a multidisciplinary approach to the cannabis industry and built one of the best teams in cannabis. From our cultivation team to our board of directors led by Carol Bartz, our delivery drivers to our executive management team, we are all mission based to ensure Caliva is The Most Trusted Name in Cannabis.


Jay-Z’s role for the brand will focus on driving creative direction, outreach efforts and influential strategies. Concentration is to also increase the economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration done through advocacy, job training, employee and workforce development. As chief brand strategist, attention for the partnership is to take Caliva products and the brand as a whole to the next level. Recognized on a global scale, Jay-Z has the ability to influence people across cultures. Say what you want but Jay-Z is smart, clearly of the upper echelon. Music was his saving grace and the core of his survival at one point in his life. No need to prove his capabilities…there’s no denying the icon really is a ‘business man’, man.

**Caliva is approved for Medical and Adult Use Distribution, Medical and Adult Use Retail/Delivery and Cultivation.

**When new regulations earlier this year required businesses to treat drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, Caliva accommodated them by assigning fixed shifts, as well as adding benefits like health insurance and vacation days.

About Kalandra Robinson 16 Articles
Bay Area native and John F. Kennedy University Alum, Kalandra is a Writer and Podcast host. She enjoys research and writing on industry topics in entertainment, lifestyle, entrepreneurship, business and emerging technologies. Other aspirations include writing an independent film.

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