EXCLUSIVE: Jessie Grundy Of Peakz On How He Caught Jay-Z's Eye

Zinger Key Points
  • While being a social equity operator gave Grundy a chance to bring his business idea to life, obtaining funds remained an important issue.
  • "You have a license, but if you don't have the funding, you can't really get into the cannabis market," Grundy said, adding that the barrier is much higher with more cannabis companies entering the industry.
EXCLUSIVE: Jessie Grundy Of Peakz On How He Caught Jay-Z's Eye

In 2018, California's then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Cannabis Equity Act, a bill designed to help those most harmed by cannabis prohibition enter the burgeoning market.

Jessie Grundy, the CEO Of Oakland-based Peakz Company, was among the first to seize the opportunity, having lived in neighborhoods affected by the war on drugs. 

"I think social equity has taught us how to take on every role in cannabis," Grundy told JourneyOne Ventures founding partner Helene Servillon in a discussion Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. "It gives you a launching pad. It's up to you how far you can take it."

One-Man Band: Grundy won its distribution license under Oakland's social equity program and founded Peakz in 2018. Ever since, he's handled all aspects of the business from distribution to media marketing, with cannabis products hitting shelves in almost 200 retailers across the Golden State.

"I really bootstrapped my company because, at the time, I had no investment until about last year," he said.

While being a social equity operator gave Grundy a chance to bring his business idea to life, obtaining funds remained an important issue.

"You have a license, but if you don't have the funding, you can't really get into the cannabis market," Grundy said, adding that the barrier is much higher with more cannabis companies entering the industry.

Peakz Collaborates With The Parent Company: In July 2021, Peakz became the second social equity investment for TPCO Holding CorpGRAM GRAMF, which does business as The Parent Company, reaching the company's direct-to-consumer platforms and retail locations.

Jay-Z serves as chief visionary officer and leads the company's social equity venture fund,

Steve Allan, CEO of TPCO, called Peakz "a natural fit" for the company. Grundy "continues to keep his finger on the pulse regarding market trends in cannabis," Allan said at the time of the investment. 

Some nine months later, Grundy has only words of praise for the California cannabis company.

"They really back me and support me because I'm not the usual brand that people will go to," he said. "I look at Peakz as a hip-hop, Web3 cannabis brand.

"I'm just trying to bring in the young hip fun into cannabis," without fitting any mold, Grundy added.

Helene Servillon, left, founding partner at JourneyOne Ventures, and Peakz CEO Jessie Grundy in conversation Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. Photo by Dez Smith. 

Posted In: CCCCCC22Helene Servillonjay-zJessie GrundyJourney One VenturesPeakzSteve AllanCannabisNewsPenny StocksEntrepreneurshipEventsExclusivesMarketsInterviewGeneral

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