The rapper first rose to prominence in the 1990s as a member of East Coast hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, which often featured the rapper’s lyrics surrounding the use of cannabis. His cannabis brand is named after his first solo album, TICAL, also a fitting acronym for the brand’s mission: Taking into Consideration All Lives.
The brand’s website expands on the name, “TICAL was coined a cannabis term in 1993 and has since become a part of hip hop’s vernacular. TICAL has not only become tightly woven into the tapestry of both hip hop and cannabis culture alike, it has also reflected an entire movement, lifestyle, and swagger—emblematic of the man who created it.”
Method Man said that he aims to put social consciousness and racial injustice at the forefront of the brand by offering job opportunities to people in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
“I’m absolutely thrilled at the prospect of bringing TICAL to New York’s newly legalized adult-use market in 2022. Our team has worked long and hard to bring the same energy, creativity and equity to this brand that I have to everything I have done throughout my career,” Method Man said in a statement. “I’m particularly excited about TICAL’s focus and leadership in the cannabis space in working with Black, women and minority-owned partners from cultivation to dispensaries.”
The TICAL website also makes the point that cannabis has historically been ingrained within hip-hop culture.
“To all street intellectually inclined cannabis enthusiasts who embody music, art, fashion, sneakers and subculture. We will continue the TICAL legacy by offering premium flower and spreading love throughout the community. We believe it’s important to provide our customers with essential products that offer healing, serenity and peace.”
TICAL offers a variety of strains, including FREE M.A.C., Orange Cookie Kush, Sweet Grease, Spazzola, C.R.E.A.M., Gold Tang and Crowd Walker and Sweet Tarts, and the brand is already being marketed in Colorado.
Method Man says the brand will lead by example to help ensure that the new cannabis market is as inclusive as possible. “We can’t right all the wrongs that disparate criminalization of cannabis has done to our communities, but we most certainly can make a down payment on the way forward with social equity, inclusion and full economic participation,” he said.
New York became the 16th state in the United States to legalize recreational cannabis back in March, allowing adults ages 21 and over in the state to purchase up to three ounces of recreational cannabis, or 24 grams of concentrates. The legislation also allows consumers to smoke cannabis in public where smoking tobacco is allowed.
However, with the recent resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, there could be a slower fallout than anticipated regarding the recreational cannabis program he signed into law. According to MJ Biz Daily, the delays are more likely to hurt smaller operators in particular, including social equity applicants, and could also hold up appointments to New York’s new Cannabis Control Board.
“We’re at a critical moment here where we are waiting for the governor to appoint a chair for the cannabis board. Any kind of political disruption certainly can delay (the program), especially at this point in the process,” said Rob DiPisa, co-chair of the Cole Schotz cannabis practice.
Currently, New York is looking to issue 50 percent of all adult-use business licenses to social and economic equity applicants, but there is growing concern that applicants will have a long, uphill battle in regard to lining up financing and securing real estate, as the market launch is still fairly uncertain.
Cuomo’s replacement, Lieutenant Governor Kath Hochul, has long been quoted that there is a need for money in regard to the emerging industry and that the system has been unjust for some time, though it’s uncertain just how quickly she will be able to act in regard to the state’s cannabis market.
But it seems as though Method Man has the support of these powers, with Senator Dian Savino (D – Staten Island) voicing her support for his brand setting out to employ local residents from disadvantaged neighborhoods. She also spoke with Hochul about the importance of streamlining the appointment process to the regulatory board so the state can press forward to set up rules and approve licenses.
“Method Man can serve as a mentor and model for others who want to get into the cannabis business. We need people who are serious players,” Savino said.