Rapper and music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs plans to acquire cannabis operations in Worcester, Leicester, and Greenfield as part of a $185 million deal announced Friday that is expected to create the largest Black-owned cannabis company in the nation.
Combs has agreed to buy assets in Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois from Cresco Labs Inc. and Columbia Care Inc., according to a statement released by the companies.
The deal, which must be approved by both state and federal authorities, includes retail locations in Worcester, Leicester, and Greenfield, as well as a production site in Leicester, according to the statement. Cresco and Columbia Care are selling the facilities because they are required to divest some of their assets as part of a merger deal.
Combs, who is chairman and chief executive of Combs Enterprises, is making his first investment in the cannabis industry and wants to use it to bring more Black workers into that field, the statement said.
“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 said in the statement.
Columbia Care’s co-founder and chief executive, Nicholas Vita, said the sale offers “the Combs’ team significant market presence, enabling them to make the most impact on the industry as a whole.”
“It’s been clear to us that Sean has the right team to carry on the strong legacy of these Columbia Care and Cresco Labs facilities, and we can’t wait to see how he helps shape the cannabis industry going forward through his entrepreneurial leadership and innovation,” Vita said in the statement.