DENVER (CBS4)– A former executive with Microsoft wants to create a national brand of marijuana and he’s got Colorado in his sights.

Jamen Shively made the announcement in Seattle where he said Washington state and Colorado are the first on his list, the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

But he faces some major hurdles including that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The second is that in Colorado marijuana dispensaries can only be opened by those who have been an official state resident for at least two years.

Shively wants to call the brand “Diego Pellicer” after his great-grandfather. He hopes it will one day be a familiar as Starbucks.

“For the first time in the history of the United States you will see stores, medical cannabis dispensaries in more than one state with the same brand,” said Shively.

When Shively made the announcement he was joined by the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox.

“We know that prohibition actions don’t work not even the apple in the Garden of Eden, the forbidden apple sustained the prohibition,” said Fox.

Shively said he’s not deterred by how the federal government views marijuana.

On the Diego Pellicer website it states, “We are committed to building our business under the assumption that the federal government will permit us to operate in the states of Washington and Colorado.”

The U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh said the federal government continues to study the legalization measures in the state.

“With an eye towards making a decision as to whether there would be a federal intervention on those laws and depending on what that intervention may be, what sort of enforcement priorities we might have,” said Walsh.

Shively said he is close to acquiring a marijuana dispensary in Colorado but the State of Colorado Department of Revenue has no record of any transaction.


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