Ex-Microsoftie Jamen Shively Is Building A Marijuana Empire

Jamen ShivelyJamen Shively

Back in December, Jamen Shively announced his plans to build the first national marijuana company and at a news conference in Seattle on Thursday he said he’s made big progress.

He’s now bought medical cannabis dispensaries in two states: Colorado and Washington, he said, reports the Seattle Times’ Bob Young.

He dreams of becoming the Starbucks of pot, reports Reuters’ Jonathan Kaminsky.

Shively, who spent six years at Microsoft and left in 2009, has a vision that also includes importing marijuana from Mexico. Obviously, he would need to get around international laws that forbid that sort of thing.

We’re not entirely convinced he’ll succeed. He’s apparently still looking for investors willing to offer $10 million in backing, he told reporters. Last December, when he first hit the media circuit, pot industry blogger Nwbud.com even called his company a hoax.

But the idea of a national chain of dispensaries sure seems feasible at some point.

Pot is legal for medical and recreational use in Colorado. Just this week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the first framework for a legal, regulated pot industry in the country.

Washington also lets people use pot for fun. Another 16 states allow medical use, Kaminsky reports.

Shively isn’t the first one to smell a huge business opportunity.  Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Privateer Holdings, have already launched a fund dedicated to pot startups.

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