The cannabis community readily welcomes pretty much everybody – as long as one supports the idea of unshackling the plant from all of its legal restrictions.
Without a doubt, some newcomers dream big, but think stupid. Take Jamen Shively, a former corporate strategy manager for Microsoft. On May 30 in Seattle, WA, he announced plans to create the first U.S. national marijuana brand, kick-starting his business by purchasing three dispensaries, two in Washington and one in Colorado. He also revealed planns to import his product from Mexico. "It's a giant market in search of a brand," Shively said of the marijuana industry. "We would be happy if we get 40 percent of it worldwide."
Let’s start with his groundbreaking idea of starting the nation’s first marijuana brand. That must be news to outfits like DNA Genetics and Cali Connection, who are widely recognized brands.
And how about importing pot from Mexico. That’s a marketing plan? For decades, American growers have worked ceaselessly to create outstanding domestic strains so we can swear off shitty Mexican weed forever. It’s doubtful that informed pot smokers will be enticed by buds from south of the border. Moreover, it’s doubtful that cartels will step aside graciously to allow him to do business.
Then there’s his moronic statement about capturing 40 percent of the global pot market. This dude must be auditioning for the next James Bond villain. Forty percent? The UN estimates the world marijuana market at $142 billion. So Shively is looking to rake in $56 billion. Weed greed is obviously alive and well.
His stated goal is to become a Starbucks-like mega-marijuana chain. Standing by him as he let his dreams be known was former Mexican President Vicente Fox, a longtime Shively acquaintance. Shively said that Fox, who supports decriminalization of pot, would be an advisor.
Lost in all of the hot air is the fact that pot remains illegal on the federal level. Shively seems undaunted. As far as the DEA taking an interest in his new enterprise, he said, "If they want to come talk to me, I'll be delighted to meet with them. I'll tell them everything that we're doing and show them all our books."
(Normally, this is when we ask, “What’s he been smoking?”)