Chris Webber, member of the Fab Five at the University of Michigan, former Detroit Piston, NBA Hall of Famer, and co-founder of the Wild Impact Fund, today launched Players Only Holding, a new $50 million cannabis operations and training facility in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
Players Only is a black-owned business co-founded by Webber with entrepreneur Lavetta Willis, and is focused on four strategic business areas: real estate development, cannabis cultivation, brand partnerships, and creative content development and management.
The state-of-the-art 180,000 square foot Players Only facility will feature a 60,000-square-foot cultivation facility, an 8,000-square-foot dispensary, and a private cannabis consumption lounge. During the groundbreaking, Webber also announced the Cookies U into Detroit and an exclusive distribution partnership with leading Michigan operator, Gage Growth Corp., for Players Only branded cannabis products.
“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,” says Webber. “Gage is the HOF of cannabis operations. With Fabian Monaco as a teammate, this relationship is a winner on every level.”
The Webber Wellness Compound will be located at 2599 22nd St., near Michigan Avenue and the Fisher Service Drive in Detroit Corktown and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods. It will encompass 9 acres, including properties along Michigan Avenue. Construction is expected to being this fall, with first phase completion expected in March 2022.
“Chris shares our vision of creating an inclusive and world class cannabis business community in Michigan,” says Fabian Monaco, CEO of Gage Growth Corp. “We are proud to work hand in hand with the Players Only team to not only facilitate attractive consumer experiences but also provide future entrepreneurs of color with the tools to create generational wealth.”
The Cookies U training program is a hands-on educational experience that recruits students from minority and underrepresented communities. The “no-fee” educational curriculum is aimed at job training and placement in the cannabis industry. A recent partnership also brings access to a virtual GED program with a financial literacy component. The Cookies U concept was announced in May as a partnership between Cookies and The WebberWildWillis Foundation.
“Not only is Michigan one of the most important markets in the cannabis industry, Detroit is the first city we opened a flagship store in, outside of California. I have to salute Chris Webber, Jason Wild, and Lavetta Willis for supporting our vision to build out Cookies U in Humboldt California and extending the program to Detroit, which happens to be Chris’s hometown,” says Berner, co-founder and CEO of Cookies.
“Michigan has always been an advanced and educated market and we couldn’t be more excited to offer underrepresented people an opportunity to learn the industry from seed to sale.”