AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Shawn Kemp Opened His Own Cannabis Shop to Inspire the People of Seattle

The Seattle SuperSonics are still alive — in a way.

Sonics legend Shawn Kemp, one of the most iconic players in franchise history, is baking team spirit into Emerald City through a cannabis shop.

Shawn Kemp's Cannabis Shop

Shawn Kemp #40 of the Seattle Supersonics competes in the slam dunk contest during NBA All Star Weekend

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

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On Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, the former power forward celebrated the opening of Shawn Kemp's Cannabis, Seattle's first black-owned dispensary. The store is filled with memorabilia that would make any Sonics fan nostalgic. Pictures of Kemp's booming dunks line the wall in addition to Sonics-themed art keep customers occupied while their recreational cannabis or medical marijuana order is fulfilled. Outside, there's a 30-by-80-foot mural depicting Kemp's playing days in Seattle commissioned by local muralist Jeff Jacobson.

With the store's opening, Mr. Kemp became Seattle's first black dispensary owner, another big win for the Black community, promoting social equity in the Queen Anne neighborhood. He partnered with cannabis industry veterans Matt Schoenlein and Ramsey Hamide — two co-founders of Main Street Marijuana — to bring the project to fruition. Main Street's three shops have exceeded $150 million in sales since 2014. This is Kemp's first time dipping his toes in the cannabis business.

"I want to provide nothing short of the best selection, customer experience and prices in Seattle," Kemp said. "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."

This is the former Sonics star's latest business venture in Washington state's largest city.

The cannabis retailer is located in the Belltown district at 3035 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. It's a stone's throw away from Climate Pledge Arena and the Space Needle. Just in case you needed tro pick up some edibles, pre-rolls, topicals, CBD or Freddy's Fuego concentrates or your way to a Kraken or Storm game. Or if you're new to the world of THC and don't know that the difference between an indica or sativa strain, the pot shop's budtenders can help you navigate their menu.

The Reign Man's former teammate, Hall of Famer Gary Payton, was on hand for the green ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening. Kemp, a six-time NBA All-Star, and Payton played seven seasons together in Seattle. They were a powerhouse in the '90s. The height of their run was an appearance in the 1996 NBA Finals. Kemp retired in 2003 after a 14-year NBA career.

The downtown cannabis store is the first of five Kemp plans to open. The former NBA star aims to be a role model and inspiration for African-Americans seeking to enter the industry.

"I hope that Shawn Kemp's Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color," said Kemp.

The cannabis dispensary is adhering to health and safety measures put in place from the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak. The store offers curbside pickup, online ordering, and express order kiosks. Deals and news are advertised on their social media accounts.

Shawn Kemp? More like Shawn Hemp.

For more information on Shawn Kemp's Cannabis and to check out the best prices in Seattle, you can see more at www.KempsCannabis.com

This article was originally published on November 9, 2020, and has been updated since. 

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