Weed As A Brand: Starbucks Or Botwin Pot Stores? Fact Or Fiction? [Video]
After eight successful seasons on HBO, the acclaimed award-winning series, "Weeds" ended its run in 2012 with matriarch Nancy Botwin dealing in a world that finally legalized marijuana. With plot lines that followed a mother and widow of two children rise in the weed business, Nancy's chain of pot stores became so overwhelmingly successful by the end of Season 8, Starbucks was written into the script securing a bid to buy them.
In this scene, a tobacco company's CEO attempts to solicit Nancy's oldest son, Silas to grow for his emerging legalized pot franchise.
Fiction? Yes. But flash-forward just one short year, and you find marijuana entrepreneur and ex-Microsoft executive Jamen Shively stealing a page out of the Botwin's handbook. In a Slate report, titled, "The Starbuck of Pot," Dominic Holden reported that Shively has plans to open a chain of stores offering "uniform, high-end product that satisfies America's craving for a mild buzz."
Pot to become big business? What would those hippie of the 60's have thought way back when, if they were presented with the possibility of their substance of choice becoming part of mainstream America? Not so groovy when it becomes status quo, eh?
"Yes, we are Big Marijuana," Shively, brazenly told reporters, outlining his intent to secure $100 million in investments to establish "the most recognized brand in an industry that does not exist yet.”
Colorado and Washington, the two states that legalized marijuana for recreational use last fall have announced licensing pot growers, distributors, and retail outlets (and impose steep taxes and strict regulations). Shively says he and his partners plan about a dozen retail outlets in each state, with 100 in California soon to follow.
Even Mexico is getting in on the act. As you remember, our fictional Nancy Botwin headed up a successful Mexican smuggling ring to bring marijuana into the States. Now the government sees the advantage of their country's natural resource. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has already started to make the case for Shively’s plan by urging Obama to let state legalization proceed in order to deter the flow of profits to the bloodthirsty drug cartels in his country. Fox’s point is that every dollar in cannabis sales that stays in the hands of a legal business doesn’t go to a violent gang across the border.
So what's your thoughts readers? Whether you were once a pot-head, have recently used marijuana for medicinal purposes or would just like to weigh in -- do you see cannabis becoming big business?
Don't forget, cigarette-smoking is on the decline in this country creating a major void with the growers who can easily switch from tobacco to cannabis.
Also, we all remember when alcohol was prohibited in this country only to be repealed once big business and the government realized they were depriving themselves of a major source of revenue. Shively's estimates in tax dollars alone are conservatively estimated at $300 million a year - and that's just in the states where marijuana is legal! Obama, you're missing a great opportunity for an economic stimulus. - and we do know that dissimilar to one of your predecessors -- you did inhale in college!