Is Chris Webber and Lavetta Willis’ Player’s Only Teetering on the Brink of Collapse?

Players Only Holdings Financially Ruined

Who’s Involved In This Financial Catastrophe?

$112,740 in debts owing

When NBA legend Chris Webber teamed up with shoewear entrepreneur Lavetta Willis (who he appointed as President of his operation) last year to launch Players Only and spearhead a $200 million cannabis equity fund in New York, it prompted celebrations. Shortly after Trevor Agard was appointed as Senior Finance Leader. But just months since its launch, the cracks in their flashy promises are surfacing.

At the outset, the website Players Only Cannabis, owned and controlled by Player’s Only Holdings, promised innovation and growth.

Partnering with affiliate marketers on a cost-per-acquisition basis, the company sought to scale its operations and sales rapidly. Initially, the strategy paid dividends, generating significant sales through paid advertising campaigns.

However, by July, a month after this partnership began, the company’s financial infrastructure began showing cracks. Invoices went unpaid, leading to a complete halt in affiliate marketing operations by August due to an escalating unpaid balance totaling $112,740.

In a dramatic unfolding, Lavetta Willis and Chris Webber’s ambitious endeavor to transform New York’s marijuana landscape is teetering on the edge. This overdue debt, lingering for over 180 days, paints a grim picture of a company struggling to keep its financial head above water. Despite assurances and the presentation of financial statements indicating future solvency, Player’s Only Cannabis has yet to fulfill its obligations, raising serious questions about its fiscal stability and operational viability.

Player’s Only Holdings is now scrutinized for significant financial discrepancies and unfulfilled grandiose promises, sparking a debate on the New York state’s vetting process.

Evidence of Unfulfilled Promises Unravels

Players Only Holdings LinkedIn

Concerns center on misleading statements about achievements. The much-publicized $100 million Webber Wild Impact Fund to assist minority cannabis founders has yet to materialize, with no disbursements to date. And it seems there are other businesses involved, where their fund or Lavetta Willis, have ownership interests, like Smacked LLC, Gotham Buds, LLC, Florisun LLC, Humble County LLC, Nelsonkickz, LLC, Good Grades, LLC and Capital Distribut Cannabis & Wellness INC. 

Additionally, announced plans for a $50 million Detroit cannabis facility have stalled according to local sources, uncovering a pattern of unmet commitments.

Former Medgar Evers College professor Ron Howell, who was consulted on a cannabis education program, notes that Webber’s involvement was limited despite suggestions otherwise. “After the initial discussions, we never heard from them,” he told reporters.

Investigations have progressively uncovered the stark gaps between Player’s Only Holdings’ ambitious claims and its tangible achievements. The much-vaunted Webber Wild Impact Fund, which purportedly earmarked $100 million to aid cannabis entrepreneurs of color, has not disbursed any funds.

Furthermore, the proposed $50 million cannabis operation in Detroit remains unrealized, with no evident progress since its announcement. These instances, among others, collectively underscore a troubling pattern of unmet commitments and raise questions about the feasibility of Webber and Willis’s plans.

Unpacking the Red Flags

The revelations have prompted a closer examination of the state’s decision-making process in selecting Webber and Willis to lead such a critical initiative. Despite the duo’s history of financial mismanagement and unfulfilled promises, their selection was positioned as a step towards empowering communities affected by the inequitable enforcement of marijuana laws. Yet, the lack of progress and transparency has led to calls for a reassessment of the initiative’s direction and the criteria for fund management selection, shedding light on the potential oversight and missed warning signs by state officials.

The potential fallout from Player’s Only Holdings’ financial instability is not just a reflection of a single failed initiative but indicates broader implications for New York’s social equity efforts in the cannabis industry. The inability to fulfill these promises could jeopardize the creation of jobs, the establishment of businesses, and, crucially, the trust and opportunities for entrepreneurs who were to be the beneficiaries of this fund. Personal stories from entrepreneurs who have been left in limbo further humanize the issue, underscoring the urgent need for actionable solutions and transparency.

A Call For Urgency and Accountability

The situation poses significant questions about the future of social equity initiatives within the cannabis industry. The skepticism surrounding radical promises like those of Player’s Only Holdings may grow, prompting a more cautious approach to evaluating and endorsing such ambitious plans. This incident serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the necessity for rigorous due diligence, accountability, and a reevaluation of strategies to ensure that the lofty goals of social equity and industry transformation are grounded in reality.

As Player’s Only Holdings faces scrutiny, the urgent need for intervention and clarification from both the initiative’s leaders and state officials becomes apparent. The cannabis community and potential beneficiaries of the fund are left wondering about the next steps and whether the gaps in fundraising and project execution can be bridged. The story of Player’s Only Holdings is not just about unmet promises; it’s a reflection on the integrity of social equity efforts in the burgeoning cannabis industry, demanding immediate attention and action to realign ambitions with achievable outcomes.The disenchanted voices across the state’s budding industry make one thing clear – results matter over ideas alone.