Myles Harlow Kahn has the kind of résumé that doesn’t fit on one page: attorney, sports agent, adjunct professor, startup investor, pot shop owner. And while his pursuits may seem disparate, Kahn’s career is guided by a theme.
“I’ve always followed what I called emerging industries,” he says. “First the New York City real estate market, then urban music, then the internationalization of baseball, then the tech world, then cannabis. I was able to identify them all at a fairly early stage and ride that initial wave and then move to the next thing.”
Kahn was born into a musical family in Brooklyn. His grandfather, Nathan Kahn, better known as Buddy, was a bandleader at the Latin Quarter nightclub owned by Lou Walters (father of Barbara Walters). Larry, Myles’s father, grew up to become an icon in the salsa world and won a Grammy lifetime achievement award. He was nicknamed “El Judio Maravilloso” (“The Marvelous Jew”).
Kahn bucked family tradition and went to law school at Cardozo, and after getting experience at a big firm, he opened his own small practice in the early 1990s specializing in entertainment and intellectual property law. His area of expertise was music, which was on the verge of exploding in the US. “There was all sorts of legal work that needed to be done here,” he says. “It was really dynamic and played right into my entrepreneurial desires — managing artists, promoting shows.”
In 2000, Kahn reluctantly moved to Seattle for his then-wife to pursue a professional opportunity for 18 months. “The lifestyle was good, and I could still feel the stress level from New York City coming down notch by notch,” he says. “We weren’t ready to go back.”
While many things in Seattle were great, Kahn felt the culture shock of no longer being surrounded by as many Jews as he had been nearly his entire life. “When we decided to have children, I felt that I needed to connect,” Kahn says. “We decided to join Temple, and I found that I felt really comforted by having that community.” He spent many years on the board of trustees of Temple De Hirsch Sinai and is part of The Tribe Motorcycle Club, a Jewish group that rides on Sundays.
His latest professional endeavor is starting Buddy’s cannabis dispensary and Buddy's Goodies and Glass, in Renton, which is named for his grandfather. After reviewing business plans of those wanting to enter the newly legalized marijuana industry, he realized they were lacking business know-how. “Because it was still federally illegal, it made a lot of the legitimate businesspeople and investment money shy away at first,” he says. “I saw an opportunity,” Kahn says.
And when opportunity knocks, he answers.