Former Microsoft executive plans to create first U.S. brand marijuanaBy Mason White 12:20 PM June 3, 2013
By: Eva Fett
(Scroll down for video) Microsoft is known for being the leading maker of computer software, but how about marijuana?
A former Microsoft executive has announced plans to create the first U.S. brand of marijuana, and hoping to eventually import cannabis legally from Mexico. The former executive also said he was launching his business through the acquisition of medical marijuana dispensaries in three U.S. states.
Jamen Shively, former director of corporate strategy at Microsoft, said he expects the his Seattle-based company will become the leader of both recreational and medical cannabis, just like Starbucks is the dominant name in coffee, he said.
Shively, 45, whose six years at Microsoft ended in 2009, said he was seeking $10 million from investors.
The use, sale and possession of marijuana is still illegal in the U.S. under federal law. Two U.S. states however, have legalized recreational marijuana and are one of 18 states that allow it for medical use.
“It’s a giant market in search of a brand,” Shively said about the marijuana industry. “We would be happy if we can capture 40 percent of the market, around the world,” he added.
A 2005 United Nations report estimated the global marijuana trade to be valued at $142 billion.
The state of Washington and Colorado became the first two U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana when voters approved the measure, last year.
The sale of cannabis or marijuana is still illegal in many parts of the world, although countries, mainly in Europe and the Americas have decriminalized possession of small amounts of it. A number of countries have decriminalized or legalized cannabis for medical use.