Former Microsoft Manager Has Big Ideas About Pot

May 31, 2013

For­mer Microsoft man­ager Jamen Shiv­ely wants to cre­ate the first national brand of retail mar­i­juana and to open pot trade with Mex­ico. Shiv­ely plans to announce that and more in a Thurs­day news con­fer­ence he says will fea­ture Vicente Fox, the for­mer pres­i­dent of Mex­ico. “Let’s go big or go home,” Shiv­ely said. “We’re going to mint more mil­lion­aires than Microsoft with this busi­ness.” He’s acquir­ing medical-marijuana dis­pen­saries in Wash­ing­ton and Col­orado, he said, and plans to become the leader in both the med­ical and adult-recreational pot mar­kets. He sees the mar­i­juana mar­ket as the only one of its size in which there does not exist a sin­gle estab­lished brand. He and Fox plan to announce a pro­posal for reg­u­lat­ing the trade of mar­i­juana between the two coun­tries, he said. Some details of the trade agree­ment remain to be worked out, such as how to get around inter­na­tional rules for­bid­ding legal pot, Shiv­ely admit­ted. “I don’t know how exactly that would be done, but I know it’s been done in other indus­tries,” he said. Ali­son Hol­comb, pri­mary author of the state’s legal-marijuana law, said Shiv­ely faces a huge obsta­cle in the fed­eral government’s pro­hi­bi­tion of mar­i­juana. “Hav­ing a national chain of marijuana-based com­pa­nies is not only explic­itly counter to the exist­ing pro­hi­bi­tion, but also counter to the government’s expressed con­cern about busi­ness grow­ing too large,” said Hol­comb, drug-policy direc­tor for the ACLU of Wash­ing­ton. But Shiv­ely, 45, likened the fed­eral pro­hi­bi­tion to the Berlin Wall and said it’s crum­bling, with fewer defend­ers every day. He also said he’s cre­ated a way to shield investors from fed­eral reg­u­la­tors at the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion. And, he con­tends a ven­ture this size is too big to oper­ate reck­lessly and take risks — such as divert­ing legal pot to black mar­kets — that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is most con­cerned about. “What we’re all about is mak­ing it extremely pro­fes­sional and hav­ing the high­est qual­ity and effi­cien­cies,” he said. What if the feds were to come after him? Shiv­ely para­phrased Obi-Wan Kenobi. “He said ‘Darth, if you strike me down I will become more pow­er­ful than you can pos­si­bly imag­ine.’” If she were Shively’s attor­ney, Hol­comb said, she’d advise him to read the so-called Cole mem­o­ran­dum from the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice. It “explic­itly men­tioned a con­cern with oper­a­tions involv­ing thou­sands of plants and mil­lions of dol­lars” and is evi­dence of the fed­eral con­cern with big pot busi­nesses. Shiv­ely, though, seems unde­terred. He has become almost evan­gel­i­cal about pot and its ben­e­fits, par­tic­u­larly for med­ical patients, such as his father who has prostate can­cer. “I’ve just fallen in love with the plant,” he said. “Espe­cially in the med­ical realm I’ve gone from entre­pre­neur to advo­cate to activist, seri­ously.” Shiv­ely worked at Microsoft six years, he said, and had the title of cor­po­rate strat­egy man­ager. He said he’s been smok­ing pot for a year and a half. Source: Seat­tle Times (WA) Author: Bob Young, Seat­tle Times Staff Reporter Pub­lished: May 29, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 The Seat­tle Times Com­pany Con­tact: opinion@​seatimes.​com Web­site: http://​www​.seat​tle​times​.com/

8b7532b7d9637612.jpg 150x112 Former Microsoft Manager Has Big Ideas About Pot

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For­mer Microsoft Man­ager Has Big Ideas About Pot

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