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A man shows off a large bud of marijuana. (Peter Power/Peter Power/ The Globe and Mail)
A man shows off a large bud of marijuana. (Peter Power/Peter Power/ The Globe and Mail)

Small Business Briefing

'Pot entrepreneurs' bust out in Vallejo Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Up in smoke

The Northern California city of Vallejo went bankrupt in May, 2008. To save money, it reduced its police force by 33 per cent, to 90 officers from 134. There are no laws regulating the medical marijuana trade, and as a result, according to an article in BusinessWeek, "pot entrepreneurs" stepped in. WeedMaps.com, a website that tracks marijuana businesses, estimates tne city of 116,000 has at least 15 of them.

Vallejo can't afford to challenge them in court. “Do we have the capacity to go after every single one right now when there are (up to) 20 of them and with our limited staff?” says Marti Brown, a Vallejo City Council member. “Probably not.”

California legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996, though a ballot measure to legalize it for recreational use failed last year. The shops in Vallejo operate as "dispensaries," and while they are taxed by the state, the rules are murky at the municipal level. Some cities tax these types of businesses, others have banned them, while Vallejo hasn’t set any rules.

“All the marijuana clubs in Vallejo want to be legal,” Mike Tomada, one of the founders of California Collective Care dispensary, told BusinessWeek. “We help the public every day of the week here.

"We just want to be recognized as part of the community.”

LinkedIn uses data to profile entrepreneurs

LinkedIn mined the data of more than 115 million users in an attempt to understand the background of entrepreneurs, Mashable reports. It then designed an infographic "that dives into the educational and corporate characteristics of the typical startup founder." Some of the findings?

  • More people ages 30 to 39 start companies than those ages 20 to 29.
  • Education is a strong indicator of your likelihood to start a company.
  • Prestigious U.S. business schools such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley and Dartmouth top the list of most-entrepreneurial institutions.
  • Engineering, physics and computer science majors were the most likely to start a company, while nursing, administration and social work majors were the least likely.

Putting their feet to the fire

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is surveying the six candidates for the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta leadership on their thoughts about taxes, red tape and fiscal plans. It is challenging them to outline what they would do in the top job, says a story in the Calgary Herald, to better support small business. “Alberta has historically been a place where entrepreneurship has been respected and encouraged,” adds Richard Truscott, CFIB's Alberta director. “Over the past few years, however, our provincial government seems to have lost its way. Alberta now trails other provinces in terms of actively pursuing policies that support and recognize small business and their role in building our economy and our communities.”

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Create wealth and well-being

The Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor hosts the 2011 annual conference of the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE) from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. This year's focus is on developing entrepreneurial success, the critical element for creating wealth, and ensuring economic well-being. CCSBE is a membership-based organization that aims to promote and advance the development of small business and entrepreneurship through research, education and training, networking and dissemination of scholarly & policy-oriented information. Click through to register.

Grow your business with social media

Marketing and Technology Manitoba is hosting its first event at The Winnipeg Free Press Cafe. Local speakers will share their experiences, including Report on Small Business marketing columnist Ryan Caligiuri. The event will also feature a search engine optimization expert, a digital marketing expert, and a well-known local blogger. The panel will answer questions related to the use of social media to help grow your business, and include discussions on location-based marketing, turning followers into sales, and breaking through geographical barriers.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

The power of storytelling

Steve Fernandez, a musician with Toronto-based duo Freedom or Death, has garnered the attention of high-profile pop critics at The Wall Street Journal and RollingStone.com with a great product – his music – and an authentic, personal approach to PR, columnist Mia Pearson writes. Instead of hiring a big name publicist and creating buzz with a massive PR stunt, Mr. Fernandez used the power of storytelling to share his passion for music, and remained dedicated to producing a high quality product.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Interview with a weather man

Now that we've bid farewell to August and said hello to September, why not revisit our profile of Pierre Morrissette, founder of Pelmorex Media Inc., which owns the Weather Network and its French counterpart, MeteoMedia in Montreal. As a passionate supporter of entrepreneurship in Canada, his advice to entrepreneurs is to never take no for an answer. “You have can-do people and can’t-do people. There’s always a way to resolve a complex issue. Tenacity describes the attitude here.”

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh

 

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