Rapper, singer, actor, and activist Vic Mensa just launched a new weed brand, 93 Boyz, the first cannabis company in Illinois to have a Black owner.
“Before I ever sold a rap, I sold an eighth,” Mensa recently told Forbes. “The recreational market is brand new in Illinois, and I've been working to enter it from its inception.”
Now, Mensa is already a millionaire, so his latest venture isn't really about profits. Instead, the core mission at 93 Boyz is "reinvesting in the communities and individuals that have been historically and disproportionately affected by outdated laws, prejudices, and assumptions regarding cannabis consumption," according to the company's website.
To properly channel the reinvestments, 93 Boyz is partnered with the nonprofit SaveMoneySaveLife, an Indigenous- and Black-led organization which empowers Indigenous, Black, and people of color in Chicago. Some of the nonprofit's initiatives include anti-bait trucks, which give away truckloads of free goods such as shoes in disenfranchised neighborhoods. The organization also provides free Covid-19 prevention kits.
In addition to giving back to its communities, 93 Boyz will reach out to those most impacted by the War on Drugs, too: The incarcerated. The company's partnership with Books Before Bars plans to provide resourceful books to understocked prison libraries.
“Selling weed was my first hustle. It taught me work ethic, entrepreneurship and funded all of my first music projects. As someone with a lifelong experience of anxiety and depression, it’s amazing to be able to help people facing those and other issues while working with something I love,” Mensa said to Black Enterprise.
He continued, “The war on drugs has had a devastating impact on my community, and yet our representation in the cannabis industry is less than two percent. 93 Boyz is changing that narrative while combining high quality, tastemaker weed with socially conscious initiatives.”
Social justice doesn’t just include prison reform and philanthropy, either. Environmental justice is as much a part of social justice as equity programs. Which is why 93 Boyz works with aeroponic grow company aeriz to grow its dank.
aeriz is the world’s largest aeroponic weed cultivator. Its system employs a recyclable medium which does not depend on soil and uses significantly less water than hydroponic systems.
Mensa isn’t the only celebrity to use his fame and wealth to push for social justice, either. Recently, rapper and actor Ice-T announced he would open an adult-use cannabis store in New Jersey which would prioritize new hires who have prior weed offenses on their records.
To learn more about 93 Boyz, visit the company's website by clicking here.
To learn more about SaveMoneySaveLife and its initiatives, click here.
Cover image via