|Former Microsoft executive Jamen Shively: Will he become the Bill Gates of bud?|
A former Microsoft executive in Washington state plans to enter the newly legal marijuana business there, with a decided tilt towards the upscale end of the cannabis market.
Jamen Shively said he plans to name the business after his great-grandfather, who supplied hemp tope to the Spanish Armada during the Spanish-American War, reports KIRO TV. He reportedly brainstormed the idea “after a few bong hits.”
Shively plans to spend the next year researching and building the retail marijuana business, said he’d name it after Diego Pellicer, his great-grandfaher, who he claims was the world’s largest marijuana producer in the late 19th century.
“He was supplying hemp rope made from the marijuana tree to the Spanish Armada during the Spanish-Americanj War,” Shively claimed. “So I’ve got marijuana in my blood, so to speak.”
His business will aim at the high end, if you will, of the marijuana market.
“By creating the category of premium marijuana, we want to position it similar to a fine cognac, a fine brandy, a fine cigar,” Shively said. “Something to be savored and enjoyed in small quantities by responsible adults.”
Beginning on December 6, it will be legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Washington state.
The state estimates it will make about $2 billion in the next five years on cannabis taxes alone.
Shively said the inevitable result will be legalization in additional states besides Washington and Colorado.
“The buzz is in the air,” he said. “This is a new industry in the making, and it’s going to be a giant industry and the state of Washington is going to lead the way.
“What Kentucky became for bourbon, the state of Washington is becoming for marijuana,” he said. “It’s going to be a huge boost to the economy.”