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Medical marijuana product maker eyes Massachusetts

A medical marijuana plant is shown at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

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The key ingredient

A Colorado-based maker of products containing medical marijuana, including pop and chocolates, wants to start selling into the Massachusetts market in 2013, according to a story by 90.9 WBUR, Boston's NPR news station.

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The state has legalized but not yet regulated the sale of medicinal pot. In its home state, Dixie Elixirs sells its wares online and in hundreds of licenced dispensaries. The company grows its own crops and it has created dozens of products infused with the plant.

"I believe with great certainty that there will be the commercial application of medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts," founder Tripp Keber told the radio station.

He plans to expand into six other states, adding that if and when he's able to bring Massachusetts online, the potential market could surpass $600 million (U.S.).

He sees a winning strategy

Ernst & Young has named Dr. Alan Ulsifer its national Entrepreneur of the Year. The president and CEO of FYidoctors has built Canada's largest independent eye-care product and service provider. "His innovative vision of merging full scope optometric practices into a single entity ... transformed Canada's optometry industry," says Colleen McMorrow, partner and national director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year program. The award has honoured the country's top entrepreneurs from all areas of business for 19 years. Winners are chosen based on a number of factors, including vision, leadership, financial performance and social responsibility.

These cuts are a positive development

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has announced the 10 finalists for its second Golden Scissors Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated leadership and produced meaningful results by cutting red tape for small business. The list, timed just before the launch of CFIB's Red Tape Awareness Week on Monday, will be whittled down to a single winner on Jan. 25. The award includes a trophy, a framed certificate, and recognition on CFIB's website, Facebook page, and other communications channels.

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Fundraising efforts 'gogo' on

Startup Canada, a volunteer-run, non-profit initiative, is in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to build "an online extension of its on-the-ground community" and to create a place for entrepreneurs to connect with support and resources. Startup Canada Connect be free, but the organization needs $100,000 to build a functional, user-friendly platform. "Help us support more than one million small businesses and connect the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs into a dynamic, national network to accelerate their growth." The aim is to launch May, 2013, and as of late afternoon Friday, more than $27,000 had been raised with 13 days left in the campaign.

Contest to help overhaul your IT

Dell and Microsoft are running an Overhaul IT contest. Choose a space in your office you want overhauled, take one to three photos and submit them. Then write 200 words or less about why you want to win. Here are the prizes.


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Cut your business travel costs

Hitting the road for business can be exciting, stressful and costly. Here are 10 tips that will help you save time and money.


Home and away

Smiling Albino is among the companies founded overseas by expat Canadians that have fuelled their growth by focusing on a key niche: customers back home, as we pointed out in a story from November, 2012. The benefit of looking to their homelands to create a successful overseas business? Expat Canadians understand what their customers from back home want and need from the nation where they've set up their business – they've lived on both shores.

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