In the latest example of music business figures entering the rapidly expanding cannabis business, Roc Nation co-founder and CEO Jay Brown has joined the Board of Directors of MedMen, the aggressive farm-to-counter retail chain dubbed the Apple Store or Starbucks of pot dispensaries.
Twenty-year music industry veteran Brown, who has worked with partner Jay-Z to develop the careers of any number of Grammy-recognized artists (among them Rihanna and DJ Khaled), joins the likes of Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Melissa Etheridge and Damian Marley in promoting cannabis enterprises.
MedMen co-founder and CEO Adam Bierman reiterated the company’s lifestyle approach to selling cannabis. “Marijuana today is less about smoking a joint, and much more about culture,” he said in announcing Brown’s arrival. “It is about healthier, safer choices for mind and body, and community. For more than two decades, Jay Brown has had his finger on the pulse of pop culture. We are honored to have him on our Board and look forward to working with him as MedMen continues on its mission to mainstream marijuana.”
Brown began his career as a publishing executive with Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records, later joining Elektra Entertainment Group as senior VP, and Def Jam as executive VP.
Since Roc Nation’s inception in 2008, Brown has branched out into the world of touring and merchandising, television and film, content creation, apparel, mobile gaming and new business ventures such as cannabis.
Added Brown: “Over the years, I’ve met great talent and passionate people who helped shape our view of the world through music. I see that same intensity in today’s emerging cannabis industry and MedMen is definitely at the head of the pack. I believe in their mission and I believe in their ability to execute.”
MedMen operates 19 licensed facilities in California, Nevada and New York, ranging from cultivation and manufacturing to retail. MedMen has several stores in the Los Angeles area, including West Hollywood, downtown L.A. and Venice’s Abbott Kinney District, while recently opening a flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York. MedMen also completed a deal with Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group, the first pure-play cannabis company to trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange.