Jamen Shively is coming…and to most marijuana activists, this is not necessarily a good thing. Shively is an aspiring pot profiteer who dreams of building a budding marijuana empire. The 45-year-old Microsoft manager vowed to raise $10 million quickly to build his marijuana empire and hopes to turn it into an international powerhouse. He wants his company, Diego Pellicer, to be world-renowned in marijuana circles and eventually across the globe.
While Shively has promised a "cautious and measured" expansion, many marijuana advocates and state regulators are nervous that he will attract unwanted attention to their new system and create a backlash across the country. His vision is remarkably similar to "Big Tobacco" who cashed in for years on American's addictions and abuse. Those who are in charge of growing Washington's legal marijuana economy are concerned that this type of profiteering could destroy the legalized marijuana movement and create havoc for the state.
At the moment, it is still unclear how the federal government plans to address Washington and Colorado's new pot laws. While the Justice Department has said that it doesn't intend to prosecute medical marijuana users, it may go after those individuals (like Shively) who try to get rich off of commercial sales. They may even sue to block Washington and Colorado pot growers, processors, and stores.