Starbucks-Style Pot Stores? New Company Plans Chain

'We are big marijuana,' says chief of Seattle's Diego Pellicer

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 31, 2013 2:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Marijuana: Coming to a strip mall near you? It will be if Jamen Shively has his way. The former Microsoft manager intends to build a national chain of "social marijuana" stores, he announced in Seattle. His company, Diego Pellicer, will invest $100 million in the endeavor over the next three years, and hopes to start with a dozen stores each in Washington state and Colorado, and even more in California, the Stranger reports. "Yes, we are Big Marijuana," Shively declared.

Diego intends to "be the most recognized brand in an industry that does not exist yet," Shively said. Of course, doing that could involve a lot of lobbying in Washington, which might be why Shively made the announcement alongside a host of lawyers, lawmakers, and even former Mexico President Vicente Fox. Fox said that companies like Diego would "bring a solution to Mexico's huge crime problem. Criminals won't be able to get the money, because the money will be in the hands of people like Jamen."

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, center, speaks during a news conference, May 30, 2013, in Seattle, as Diego Pellicer Inc. announced its recent medical marijuana dispensary acquisitions.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, center, speaks during a news conference, May 30, 2013, in Seattle, as Diego Pellicer Inc. announced its recent medical marijuana dispensary acquisitions.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
File photo of a marijuana plant.
File photo of a marijuana plant.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Jamen Shively, CEO of Diego Pellicer, speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Seattle, announcing the company's acquisition of several medical marijuana dispensaries.
Jamen Shively, CEO of Diego Pellicer, speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Seattle, announcing the company's acquisition of several medical marijuana dispensaries.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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