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  • Briefly: Jay-Z Starts His Own Cannabis Brand; Pope Francis Appoints First African American Cardinal…

Briefly: Jay-Z Starts His Own Cannabis Brand; Pope Francis Appoints First African American Cardinal…

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Jay-Z Starts His Own Cannabis Brand

Rapper Jay-Z is expanding his entrepreneurial catalogue with a new line of cannabis products. The fresh brand, Monogram, comes after he was named chief strategist for cannabis company Caliva in 2019 as a new partnership with the California-based company.

“We think this is a sea (of) change in terms of the visibility to the industry,” Dennis O’Malley, chief executive officer of Caliva, told CNN Business. “We take this partnership with a lot of responsibility, a lot of humility, a lot of accountability moving forward.”

The brand promises a “careful strain selection, meticulous cultivation practices, and uncompromising quality.” 

Monogram joins the 50-year-old’s expanding list of businesses and partnerships which include the NFL, liquor companies Armand de Brignac and D’Usse and the streaming media service, Tidal.

“Monogram marks a new chapter in cannabis defined by dignity, care and consistency,” the brand website reads. “It is a collective effort to bring you the best, and a humble pursuit to discover what the best truly means.”

Pope Francis Appoints First African American Cardinal

Pope Francis is set to appoint Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington to cardinal next month. This will make the 72-year-old the first African American to hold the position. He will be one of 13 in a new class of cardinals.

“At a time when racism is tearing our country apart, he has been a consistent, persistent voice for the dignity of all — for Black lives and for racial justice and reconciliation,” said John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. “We need healing, and for Pope Francis to recognize his leadership is a hopeful sign.”

Gregory was appointed archbishop of Washington last year, replacing Cardinal Donald Wuerl who had been accused of mishandling clerical abuse cases.

“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church,” Gregory said in a statement.


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