Former NBA All-Star Chris Webber broke ground on a $50 million cannabis operations and training center in Detroit’s trendy Corktown neighborhood.
Players Only, a Black-owned business that Webber co-founded with entrepreneur Lavetta Willis, will focus on cannabis cultivation and retail, brand partnerships and content development.
Cookies U, part of California-based Cookies’ social impact program, will provide training and job placement services that focus on minorities and underrepresented communities, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The Detroit marijuana facility marks the first major announcement from Webber and Willis since February, when they and JW Asset Management founder Jason Wild launched a $100 million private equity cannabis fund to invest in underrepresented cannabis entrepreneurs.
The 180,000-square-foot facility will feature 60,000 square feet of cultivation space, an 8,000-square-foot dispensary and a private cannabis consumption lounge.
Webber announced an exclusive product distribution partnership with Michigan-based Gage Growth, which is in the process of being acquired by New York-based TerrAscend. Wild is TerrAscend’s executive chair.
“We will create, foster and provide a cannabis ecosystem that celebrates diversity, creates jobs, and benefits this community – focusing intensely on those who are being left behind,” Webber, a Detroit native, said in a news release.
“As social equity programs struggle in many states, we are here to support legacy operators who created the foundation for this industry so that they are included in future iterations of it while we wait on the politics to catch up.”