But it won’t be a strain or product line that bears his name. Instead, the Wu-Tang Clan rapper is opting for a very different, and potentially revolutionary, angle on the cannabis market. According to Forbes, The Chef has become a major investor in CitizenGrown, a new start-up that pays people to grow weed in their home (provided the state they live in has legalized home cultivation.)
The company’s model is unconventional, but no less innovative. CitizenGrown plans to send people hydroponic grow boxes, paying users for the space in their homes. With a fully-automated kit in development, CitizenGrown intends to control every aspect of the grow, allowing the remote cultivator to earn a modest income with hardly any labor or previous training. Raekwon likened the system to “a universal income proposal,” hoping to offset the economic fallout of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the war on drugs, both of which have ravaged communities of color. “We wondered: What if our technology is the way to spread the wealth in this industry?” CitizenGrown’s CEO, Deepa Sood, tells Forbes. “Use our Boxes, cultivate top-shelf cannabis, and marry profit with purpose,” Sood added.
Already, the company has broken ground on a 13,500 square-foot cultivation laboratory in Oklahoma City, where profits are being directed towards the development of their automated hydroponic grow kit and educational resources for prospective home cultivators. “This is pretty much a school that allows us to help people, to teach them what cannabis is all about, and make sure that at the end of the day you’re in charge of what you put in you, and you understand what you’re using it for,” the rapper says of the facility.
A hard launch date on the at-home grow kits has yet to be announced. In the meantime, the rapper is readying his memoir, The Story of Raekwon, with music writer, Anthony Bozza. It’s set to be published in 2021. Head over to CitizenGrown’s website to learn more about the company and hold tight for updates in the weeks and months ahead.