Ronald Woan

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis Retracts Announcement About Black Ownership

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis has walked back its claim in a disputed press release last month that the shop is Seattle’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary after it was revealed that Kemp holds just a minor stake in the company.

Full story after the jump.

Former National Basketball Association All-Star Shawn Kemp holds just a 5 percent stake in the dispensary which bears his name despite a press release from the company indicating the dispensary was the first Black-owned cannabis retailer in Seattle, Washington, MJBizDaily reports.

Ganjapreneur used information from that press release in an October 23 report.

Note: activists who disputed the store’s ownership claims raised the issue with our editors and we were in the process of verifying these claims when the company posted a statement to its website.

“Our PR team released a statement last week with the headline ‘Seattle’s First Black-Owned Dispensary, Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, to open this month’ this statement should not have been released. As a result, it has caused great distraction to this store’s intention and the grand opening of Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, a partnership between NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp and cannabis veterans Matt Schoenlein and Ramsey Hamide of Main Street Marijuana.” – Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis in a statement

Brian Smith, spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, told MJBizDaily, though, that “Kemp is the first person in Seattle to identify as ‘black or African-American’ among retail store owners in Seattle.”

KD Hall, a spokesperson for Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, indicated in the report that the business plans to open four more shops and Kemp’s ownership stake would increase with those new stores.

“We began with this structured deal for the incubator location, knowing that Matt Schoenlein and Mr. Kemp plan to open five total cannabis stores in the next two years,” the company’s mea culpa states. “As we expand the venture, our intent has always been to partner with Mr. Kemp, his team, and the community to ensure people of color owned and Black-majority-owned cannabis stores.”

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis dispensary license is a takeover from an existing license and is not part of the city or state social equity program, Paula Sardinas, a lobbyist for Washington’s Commission on African American Affairs, told MJBizDaily.

The company said that Schoenlein and Hamide “invested in creating a store that can serve as a social equity incubator, to train people of color and women to become successful cannabis store owners.”

Kemp was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 1989 and played for the team until 1997.

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