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Dream of ‘Cannabis Empire’ Raises Fears, Hackles

June 19th

For the activists who led the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Washington state last fall, Jamen Shively was one of their biggest fears: an aspiring pot profiteer whose unabashed dreams of building a cannabis empire might attract unwanted attention from the federal government or a backlash that could slow the marijuana reform movement across the country.

With visionary zeal, the 45-year-old former Microsoft manager described his plans to a conference room packed with reporters and supporters last month, saying he was tired of waiting for a green light from the Obama administration, which still hasn’t said how it will respond to the legalization of recreational pot in Washington and Colorado. Shively vowed to quickly raise $10 million and eventually build his company, Diego Pellicer, into an international pot powerhouse.

Though he promised a “cautious and measured” expansion, Shively’s approach nevertheless contrasted with that of state regulators who want to avoid repeating the national experience with Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol, in. . . . . READ MORE

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