4 out of 4 stars
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In Billion Dollar Start-Up, written by Adam Miron, Sébastien St-Louis, and Julie Beun, readers follow the remarkable story of two Canadians that started a company investing $35,000 and became billionaires in roughly five years. They tell us how they built one of the largest cannabis companies in history. The account covers events from 2013 to 2019, and the authors share the ups and downs they faced on their road to success.
As the story begins, we follow Adam Miron and Sébastien St-Louis (aka Seb) in a small basement office with a low-hanging ceiling. They begin by tackling the two hundred pages of the MMPR (Marihuana Medical Access Regulations), which they had to master to apply for a license to grow medical cannabis. Adam and Seb named their newborn company Hydropothecary, and with relentless perseverance, they raised $1.1 million from friends, family, and a few investors.
What I liked the most about the book is how it dives into the challenges the authors had to overcome, especially the stigma and the endless legalities involved in the process. For instance, the product gets pulled by Health Canada and held by the government. Moreover, in less than six months, the government-regulated sector gets hit with a tainted cannabis problem four times. The authors give readers great examples of endurance and perseverance, showing how the road to success is almost always a bumpy one.
Thus, I believe this book can inspire young entrepreneurs by learning from how the authors dealt with all the backlash and prejudice involved in starting a cannabis business. I particularly liked the part where they decided it was time to find a publicist and brought Julie Beun into the picture. The work that Adam and Julie did to come up with a communications strategy and engage with the Canadian media was a great one.
Also, I felt touched by the passage in which Adam’s father, Gaston, discovers he has cancer, and Adam gets to help him with cannabis. Moreover, Gaston becomes client number one. Cannabis diminishes Adam’s father’s nausea and headaches, making his discomfort more manageable.
In closing, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. There are no noteworthy negative aspects to mention. I recommend it to readers who want to start a business. If you are interested in the subject of cannabis legalization, it will surely appeal to you. It is, of course, a book for adults due to its main topic, and it also uses profane vocabulary. If you feel strongly against the legalization, you should ponder before reading it. Still, even so, I would say it gives an interesting perspective.
Billion Dollar Start-Up
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