Ex-Microsoft exec to create first national marijuana brand

A former corporate strategy manager at Microsoft plans to create the first national marijuana brand, and said he is kicking off his Seattle-based business by acquiring medical cannabis dispensaries in three states.

Jamen Shively, 45, envisions his enterprise becoming the leader in both recreational and medical cannabis—much like Starbucks is in coffee, he said.

Shively, who was with Microsoft six years and left in 2009, said he was soliciting investors for $10 million in start-up money. …

“It’s a giant market in search of a brand,” Shively said of the marijuana industry. “We would be happy if we get 40 percent of it worldwide.”