- Roc Nation rapper Jim Jones and celebrity jeweler Alex Todd spoke to Insider about the trajectory of their cannabis brand, Saucey Farms and Extracts.
- Jones and Todd discussed their recent distribution partnership with Jay-Z’s The Parent Company and spoke on the personal and business prospects of marijuana legalization in New York.
Last month, I spoke to Roc Nation rapper Jim Jones and celebrity jeweler and entrepreneur Alex Todd about the trajectory of Saucey Farms and Extracts, the cannabis brand they co-founded in 2019.
video call took place two weeks after Jones and Dipset faced The Lox in a Verzuz battle at Madison Square Garden. Our call was rescheduled in the aftermath of the event after Jones caught COVID-19, which he was on the mend from when we spoke.
Jones joined toward the end of the 30 minute call with a lit blunt in hand. Todd related that he hadn’t heard from Jones in days, and Jones replied that no one had heard from him as he recovered.
‘A pretty crazy two years’
Launched in June 2019, Saucey Farms and Extracts traversed “a pretty crazy two years, considering the pandemic,” Todd said at the start of the call. “We got a good six to eight months in before all the craziness really started.”
The brand’s launch in 2019 coincided with a subsidiary line of cannabis products called CAPO, named after Jones’ Dipset moniker. Todd said that Saucey’s inaugural product, a pre-rolled blunt line from Jones called CAPO Blunt (Triple F’n OG), has remained one of the brand’s top-selling items among its selection of other pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and cannabis flowers.
After starting out in California dispensaries, Saucey expanded into Oregon and has a launch imminent in Michigan. The brand has scaled its operation into two facilities, located in Oregon and California and staffed by growing teams of cultivators and experts in cannabinoid research.
Through most of the pandemic, and until recent months, Saucey had been hovering around a “hundred dispensary mark, and then hitting a little bit of a brick wall,” Todd said, in reference to the count of stores that sold its products.
“We’re a fairly small company compared to some of the MSOs (multi-state operators) out there and some of the people that we’re competing against,” he continued. “It’s just so far you can go on your own before you’re going to need some help on the distribution side.”
Partnering with ‘the big, big homie’
Help came in the form of a partnership with the man Jones referred to in our call as “the big, big homie” — his Roc Nation label boss, Jay-Z.
In May, Saucey entered into a management and distribution agreement with The Parent Company, Jay-Z’s holding company in the cannabis space. Todd said the move helped Saucey “get over the hump” of its previous dispensary threshold, placing the brand’s products in more than 200 dispensaries as of last month.
“Jay is a smart individual. I mean, whenever he steps into something, we all know its going to be at the top tier of what can be done, as far as the power of his structure,” Jones said. “He’s created like an Amazon inside of this marijuana business, especially for people like ourselves, who’ve come up under the culture, now pushing marijuana as a business. He knows where to get in when it comes to business. As opposed to him just coming in with his own marijuana brand and just getting into dispensaries and make it a big thing, he actually made it a platform for other people to come eat with him, and help other people off the platform to enter the marijuana business so that it can be lucrative.”
Todd described the advantage of Saucey’s impending participation in The Parent Company’s “amazing direct-to-consumer outlet,” Caliva, noting that the company will soon distribute the entirety of Saucey’s product line through an app that delivers direct to California-based consumers.
He went on to discuss the potential impact of Jay-Z’s role in the cannabis space more broadly.
“I’m happy to have him in the space. I know with that happening that a lot of good on the reform side is going to happen,” Todd said. “A lot of good stuff on getting people into the space that maybe weren’t able to be there involved.”
As The Parent Company’s chief visionary officer, Jay-Z leads a social equity ventures initiative that has given out $10 million to social equity brands in the cannabis industry. Last month, The Parent Company made history when it hired former Clorox executive Troy Datcher as its CEO, marking the first time that a Black CEO has been tapped to lead a major, public cannabis organization in the US.
‘An East Coast brand’ set for East Coast expansion
At the start of the call, Todd said of Saucey that its “moniker has always been like ‘An East Coast brand that had no choice but to take its talents out to the West Coast,’ because it wasn’t legal here.”
The New York-based cannabis brand naturally has its eye on expansion into the East Coast following the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey last year and New York in March. The topic resulted in the following exchange, which has been edited and condensed for clarity.