By Jake Hayutin
According to the most recent Gallup Poll 67% of millenials support the end of marijuana prohibition. As our generation comes to dominate the voting population, we are sure to see a change over the next few decades.
Though, the success of Jamen Shively may catalyze the process. The former Microsoft corporate strategy manager has engineered and is postured to implement a corporate marijuana empire that will pressure the Obama administration to honor Washington and Colorado’s new legalization laws (state Initiative 502 and Amendment 64 respectively). Just a few weeks ago on CNBC, Shively advertised his new company, Diego Pellicer, as the future “Starbucks of pot.”
His story is so romantic that it is hard to imagine a figure more fitting. Though, inspired by a few tokes of high quality cannabis, Shively’s resume puts all stoner stereotypes to rest: with his bachelors in civil engineering from Berkeley, graduate work at MIT and fellowship with the National Science Foundation.
His powerful ethos has given responsible consumption an entirely new life, as he casually admitted to National Geographic that roughly 70% of his most successful peers and colleagues throughout his career share his marijuana habit. Marijuana is in my blood he joked, but beneath what is obvious lies a quaint family history.
Diego Pellicer was the name of Schively’s great grandfather, who was the Vice Governor of the island Cebu (a Spanish Colony) in the Philippines during the Spanish American War. Before he was killed by American soldiers, Pellicer was the largest grower of hemp in the world at the height of the Spanish Empire.
Shively hopes to honor his great granddad’s legacy by creating the first premium marijuana brand. Like fine wine, high quality cannabis can have delicate and eclectic value, appreciated only by the most refined consumer.
If the Department of Justice continues to (begrudgingly) tolerate the state sanctions, (as it has most recently) Diego Pellicer has the potential to make all marijuana users and libertarian advocates’ wildest dreams come true.
The black market for marijuana is projected to be worth somewhere between 100-200 billions dollars. Shively is postured to professionalize this market first, by commissioning over 700 growers in Washington. His projections indicate each month they will produce 2,000 pounds, generating twenty million dollars in retail sales.
At best, if this federalist experiment is successful, we can expect more states (especially the heavily indebted and socially liberal ones) to adopt similar laws in the future, beckoning more green ventures, jobs and prosperity.
With the end America’s longest and most costly war (on drugs), green entrepreneurs like
Schively may have the opportunity to help alleviate our overstuffed and costly prisons, quell the devastation of Mexican drug cartels, create much needed jobs and inspire countless others to do the same. Ending the war on marijuana, and allowing those like Pellicer to do business will eliminate a great many wasted tax outlays and generate tremendous revenues.
Taken one step further, Pellicer could be as crucial for the United States current economic recovery as Ford was to post war manufacturing. As the Federal Reserve continues to delay tapering because the fundamental indicators of our economy’s health suggest sickness, and speculators warn of another bubble in the stock market, the question of prohibition should be a no-brainer.
Imagine someday in the near future when Pellicer offers a product so good and cheap, it is exported all over the world and like Apple products – a point of American pride.
What will you be smoking?