Wu-Tang Clan’s Shallah Raekwon may be eyeing D.C. as the next potential location for his Oregon-based cannabis franchise.
It appears the rapper turned weed entrepreneur has tossed his hat into the ring for the District’s latest round of cannabis permitting. A list published in August by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), which runs D.C.’s medical cannabis program, shows that regulators have approved an LLC registered in April as “Hashstoria DC” to apply for a dispensary license.
The LLC seems to be linked to Oregon dispensary chain Hashstoria, which was co-founded by Raekwon and business partners Charles Delvalle and Jedd Canty in 2017. Since launching, the upmarket weed franchise has grown at a steady clip, and is now preparing to open a new store in Salem, its fourth dispensary in the state. The chain’s flagship dispensary is located in Oregon’s historic town of Astoria, on the scenic banks of the Columbia River.
Born Corey Woods, Raekwon rose to international fame in the ‘90s as one of the founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, a Staten-Island based hip-hop supergroup whose song lyrics often include riffs on weed. Last year, the 51-year-old musician embarked on a new weed venture by investing in Citizen Grown, a socially conscious company that bills itself as “cannabis for the people, by the people.” The company’s mission is to help people harmed by The War On Drugs generate income by providing them kits to grow cannabis at home, and splitting sales profits with them.
Raekwon’s bid for a D.C. dispensary permit could be up against tough odds. Hashstoria is one of more than 90 businesses vying for a single dispensary slot to be located in either Wards 3 or 5. The company did not return Outlaw Report’s request on Tuesday. ABRA recently pushed back the start of the license application period to November 29 and doubled the application timeframe from two to four months.
Cannabis entrepreneurs have been keeping a close eye on the nation’s capital as it could be on the verge of a massive green rush.
On November 19, the D.C. Council will hold its first-ever hearing on a bill to legalize recreational cannabis sales despite a lingering Congressional ban that has blockes local officials from launching a regulated adult-use market. Legislators will also consider a bill introduced by Mayor Muriel Bowser that would increase the number of available medical dispensary permits from eight to 16.
Raekwon isn’t the only Wu-Tang member venturing into the legal cannabis industry. In August, his longtime collaborator Method Man launched TICAL, a New York weed brand that aims to tackle racial injustice by offering jobs to people from communities harmed by harsh drug laws.
The list of celebrities jumping on the cannabis bandwagon seems to be getting longer by the day. Last week, Canadian singer Justin Bieber announced he was joining forces with Los Angeles-based cannabis company Palms to work on a new line of pre-rolled joints dubbed “Peaches” after his latest single.
And earlier this year, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z made his cannabis debut by launching a fund to help minority entrepreneurs make their break in the industry. Even Martha Stewart wants her slice of the cannabis cake with her new line of CBD-infused dog treats.