New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said that he will be including cannabis legalization in his upcoming budget proposal in early 2021.
This thrilled Booklyn native and weed entrepreneur Alex Todd.
Before he launched Saucey Farms and Extracts, touted as a "luxury cannabis brand," Todd was a celebrity jeweler.
Among his big-name clients are Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), Rihanna and Kevin Hart.
He's now partnering with hip-hop artist Jim Jones on new cannabis products.
Todd spoke with Benzinga about a variety of topics, including:
- What marijuana legalization would mean on both macro and micro levels
- The effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the cannabis industry
- How the recent Election Day bodes well for weed reform
- How his NY upbringing affected the way he does business
- Expungement of felony records for cannabis offenses
Read on for more.
BZ: How did you meet Jim Jones? And what made him an ideal partner?
Todd: I actually met Jim at Roc Nation’s [Jay-Z's company] office. We hit it off right away. When I started working on Saucey, I knew he would be a perfect fit with his authenticity. His knowledge of the cannabis industry is what made him the ideal partner. He’s a 24/7 smoker, so he knows what a good quality product is. He’s so well-versed in the cannabis space. You know that whatever he’s smoking his authentic — and he’s relatable.
How did your Brooklyn upbringing affect the way you do business?
My parents came to this country with literally $200 in their pockets, and probably less by the time they got here in 1972. They moved to the Bronx when they first came here and they literally had nothing. No language. No money. So we had to figure it out.
When I was born, they moved to Brooklyn, and all I knew from then on was the hustle. Growing up in that environment and being raised by hard workers was tough. At one point, my mom had to go to Russia to work and I had to live with my grandma. But seeing that hustle in my family and seeing what they went through to make our lives better, I think that instilled a lot in me and what I do today.
Does it annoy you that you can't do business in your home state?
I think things are getting a little bit better, but it sucks. Our whole brand is an East Coast brand that we had …