Is the Starbucks of Pot Coming Soon?
Recently, James Shively, CEO of Diego Pellicer, a Seattle-based company, announced his plans to invest $100 million in the marijuana market. Shively plans to start up a national brand of marijuana stores, which he likened to Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), but selling pot instead of coffee. The former Microsoft executive is planning on testing the tolerance of the Obama administration when it comes to enforcing federal drug laws.
Shively was very open about his plans for these stores saying he had goals to ”be the most recognized brand in an industry that does not exist yet.” Shively and his partners plan to start the business in Washington, Colorado, and California. They will continue expanding as pot becomes legalized in more states.
Shively has plans to open both recreational and medicinal marijuana stores. Over the next year, they have plans to open dozens of stores in Colorado and Washington and as many as hundreds of stores in California.
As the company was preparing to start the company, they had already prepared a menu of marijuana types. This was designed to mimic fast food menus with interesting strain names like a cafe. For instance, one of the strain names was ”Juan de Fuca,” which is the name of a waterway in Seattle.
Shively says they plan to employ about a thousand people locally in Seattle and tens of thousands around the country. The Former Mexican President Fox was at Shively’s side during a press conference lending his support. He said that this business would be taking money away from Mexican drug cartels and giving it to legitimate corporations.
However, the federal government tends to come down harshly when people collaborate to sell and distribute drugs. Shively tried to field the questions about the risk of federal enforcement. He said that they were taking a mitigated risk with the business. Additionally, Shively emphasized that the company was going to adhere strictly to state laws.