Today, NBA Hall of Famer Chris Webber has announced a step toward achieving not only his dreams but those of his community as well.
In an effort to ensure minorities will not be left out of the cannabis industry, the entrepreneur has announced The launch of The Players Only Holdings — co-founded with entrepreneur Lavetta Willis — will bring a $50 million cannabis operational and training facility to Detroit, MI.
“To be able to bring this to Detroit is the most special thing because I waited,” said Webber in a press statement to CBS Sports. “I waited till I really learned the industry; we’ve been in here a while. I waited to try and see what the right landscape was, and all of that studying and preparation and patience really makes me feel like I just can’t wait to hit this here, and the people are going to make it a home run.”
This news follows just five months after Webber’s nonprofit WebberWild partnered with Cookies U to create cannabis-led initiatives to provide educational resources and empower people of color in the cannabis industry. Students are recruited for a three-month curriculum to share resources on how future cannabis leaders can succeed in the industry.
In addition, Webber also revealed Cookies U will partner with Michigan operator Gage Growth Corp. to distribute cannabis products from the facility.
“This will be the shining jewel of Michigan. Everything great in Michigan starts in Detroit, and I am excited to collaborate with Gage to bring our premium line of Players Only products to this community,” said Webber in a press release from PR Newswire. “Gage is the HOF of cannabis operations. With Fabian Monaco as a teammate, this relationship is a winner on every level.”
Players Only Holding will focus on four key strategies, “real estate development, cannabis cultivation, brand partnerships, and creative content development and management,” according to a press release. Webber’s priority is to help Black and Brown people alongside the demographic of women and veterans.
As AfroTech previously reported, Webber created a cannabis impact fund earlier this year totaling $100 million to invest in entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis sector. For Webber’s latest project, the importance of diverse partners who share his value of inclusion has not changed.
“I’m working with white men, veterans, black and brown people, women. So, hopefully what I’m going to show is through friendships, through business partnerships here in Detroit — long ones, over 30 years, guys that I call my best friends today — that we can show the diversity of Detroit and we can show that it takes diversity to help [provide] access for those that have a lack of access,” Webber revealed in a press statement.
The 180,000-square-foot facility will create job opportunities for the city of Detroit over the next three years.
The compound is set to begin construction this Fall and is expected to be finalized in March 2022.