Rapper and actor Ice-T is one of the first well-known personalities to claim his stake in the industry. The star of Law & Order has received a cannabis license by his native State of New Jersey and will open his own 5,000-square-feet dispensary in Jersey City, just a few miles from midtown Manhattan, this fall.
The project is carried forward in partnership with Charis B, who is the founder of famous cannabis brand The Medicine Woman.
"I've dedicated my life and career to giving back and paving the way for minorities," the 64-year-old entrepreneur said in an official statement. "As a New Jersey native, I'm excited for the opportunity legalization offers our community, and I look forward to ushering in a new era for Cannabis in the state. "I've partnered with my friend of over 25 years, Charis B who is an authority in cannabis and founder of The Medicine Woman to ensure a premium experience for our customers and community."
Ice-T actually owns a home in Edgewater, but made a business decision to open his new project elsewhere within the state. "There's only one street there in Edgewater," the rapper said during a meeting with Jersey City's Cannabis Control Board last week. "That's why I [...] voided them out. I said, 'Let's go to Jersey City, my neighbor.' I'm here every night and going out, I love Jersey City."
Dubbed the Medicine Woman Jersey City, the space will also function as a commentary on the current weed culture associated with New Jersey, where Black folks are three times more likely to be charged with marijuana possession than their white counterparts, according to an official press release.
As a result, the new dispensary has committed to sourcing staff from the local community, even partnering with some charitable organizations like the Last Prisoner Project and the Jersey City Employment and Training Program, when looking to hire employees.
Although proud of the social impact aspect of his latest endeavor, Ice-T did acknowledge the importance of the weed industry within the confines of the country's economy.
"Nobody starts a business thinking about social impact," he said to the board. "They start a business because it's lucrative [...] but [this] is lucrative enough to give back. It's lucrative enough that you should want to help the community in all those things."