Update: Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis has since walked back its claims of being Seattle’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary after it was revealed that Kemp owns just a 5% stake in the company. We will leave this story up for the sake of transparency. Click to learn more.
Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Shawn Kemp is opening Seattle, Washington’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary on October 30. Kemp, drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in the first round of the 1989 draft, played for the team until 1997 and was a six-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection.
The near 4,000-square-foot dispensary, Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, is located near the Climate Pledge Arena and the Space Needle. He said he hopes his company “will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color.”
“My name is on this company and I have worked hard to bring Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis to fruition. I want to provide nothing short of the best selection, customer experience and prices in Seattle. I have incredible partners in Matt Schoenlein and Ramsey Hamide to make sure we deliver on that promise to our customers, who are our top priority.” – Kemp in a statement
Schoenlein and Hamide are the co-founders of Main Street Marijuana, whose three shops have eclipsed $150 million in sales since the company’s founding in 2014.
Kemp resides in Seattle and is also part-owner of Amber’s Kitchen, a restaurant in the Belltown district of the city. He previously owned a sports bar called Oskar’s Kitchen which closed in 2015.
Kemp was arrested in Harris County, Texas in 2006 for possessing less than 2 ounces of cannabis, according to an ESPN report. In 2005, he was arrested for felony cannabis possession over 40 grams, cocaine possession, and possessing a firearm. He has remained clear of legal issues since.
Kemp will be joined by former teammate and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton for the shop’s grand opening.