Whether it was mentioned in the lyrics of a song on the radio or the reason behind an arrest, C.J. Wallace said that cannabis has always been a part of his life. It wasn’t until he reached high school, when his younger brother started using CBD-infused products to help him with his autism, did Wallace start to view cannabis differently.
“That was the first time I saw cannabis as a tool for healing and wellness,” Wallace, the son of the legendary rapper and musician Notorious B.I.G., told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move.
It’s why Wallace started Think BIG. The California-based social movement company strives to promote art and creativity through the sale of cannabis and hemp-related products. Launched in March 2019, Think BIG sets out to raise awareness for criminal justice reform, aiming to help the millions of men and women of color who currently and have previously faced incarceration for cannabis possession.
“We believe that the industry needs to take a look at sort of how do we enact social equity and social justice programs and allow for the broader audience to sort of be able to contribute in it,” said Willie Mack, co-founder president of Think BIG. “A lot of that money is coming from private funds, family funds and VCs... but as the industry starts to open more opportunities will open.”
Mack added that as more states look to legalize recreational marijuana use and build in social equity programs, “hopefully that shift will start to happen as well as companies like ourselves looking to say, ‘OK, you know what? There are entrepreneurs that are people of color, women, LGBTQ, trying to enter the market. How do we support them?’”
Think BIG has been pushing for reformation through drug laws, which disproportionately affect black Americans and people of color, by working with other companies. Think BIG currently partners with California cannabis farm Lowell Herb Co. to sell the limited edition “Frank White Creative Blend.” The pack of pre-rolls pay homage to the Notorious B.IG. and 10% of its proceeds go to the California Prison Arts Project, which brings art and creativity to prisons and helps prisoners explore job opportunities.
“We want to definitely work with other companies,” Wallace said, noting that Think BIG has also teamed up with Code for America, which has been working on making it easier for the automatic expungement of cannabis convictions in states like California.
Marabia Smith is a producer for Yahoo Finance On the Move.