The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that rap music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs plans to pay up to $185 million for licensed cannabis companies in three states. The deal will create the largest African American-owned licensed cannabis business in the U.S. Combs would acquire stores on the selling block as a result of the pending all-stock merger between Cresco Labs Inc. and Colombia Care Inc. , the newspaper reported. Combs said Blacks are underrepresented in the cannabis industry despite decades of being disproportionately arrested for cannabis law violations. “It’s diabolical,” Combs told The WSJ. “How do you lock up communities of people, break down their family structure, their futures, and then legalize it and make sure that those same people don’t get a chance to benefit or resurrect their lives from it?” The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF is down 58.4% in 2022 compared to a 33.9% loss by the Nasdaq .

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