Businessman tries his luck at building pot brand

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:17 p.m. CDT

SEATTLE (AP) — The plans of a former Microsoft manager to create the "Starbucks of Pot" are worrying other activists who pushed for the legalization of marijuana in Washington state.

They say Jamen Shively's ambitions don't merely raise questions about whether big corporations will come to dominate the legal pot industry, but also about whether his profit-driven approach might cause a backlash that could slow the marijuana reform movement across the country.

Shively is trying to raise $10 million from investors and eventually wants to build his company, Diego Pellicer, into an international pot powerhouse.

But the states aren't licensing marijuana stores yet. Legal experts say the way Shively is going about making deals with medical marijuana dispensaries could risk federal prosecution.

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Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

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