Seattle may miss its erstwhile basketball team, the Supersonics, but one of its greats has a cure for what ails you.
Shawn “Reign Man” Kemp is opening a pot shop in downtown Seattle — the first of what he plans to be five outlets opening in the next two years. To do so, he’s partnering with the co-founders of Main Street Marijuana, who have been in the industry since 2014.
Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis aims to open doors for people of color and women to enter the marijuana business. People of color, particularly Black people, were criminalized for selling marijuana before Washington state voted to legalize the substance. After, they struggled to break into the business because it was quickly dominated by white people with access to capital.
The first location will operate as an incubator space to train the next, more diverse generation of marijuana shop owners.
The announcement of Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis was quickly met with pushback from community members who objected to calling the business “Black-owned,” given that Kemp has a minority stake in the business.
According to a statement from Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, the public relations team involved with the business should not have sent out the release touting the organization as Black-owned.
“We regret the unfortunate wording and misstep of that press release,” they said in the subsequent release, “which has caused further misunderstanding in the local community.”
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read more in the Nov. 4-10, 2020 issue.