By Michelle Seiler-Tucker Special for USDR
Every kid enjoys a good bake sale, but some people enjoy a baked sale. Jacob Lavoro of Georgetown, Texas saw an opportunity. There was a demand in the market. People were craving brownies sautéed in THC, and so he decided to take a risk. No risk. No reward. This is what entrepreneurship requires from all who are willing to put themselves out on the line for what they value. However, this kid takes the cake in what he was willing to risk—his life. If convicted the 19-year old could end up serving 19 to life. Lavoro may be perceived as an entrepreneur from one perspective; but he is a drug dealer in another’s. Some people are under the impression that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of scientific process, but all it takes is a little digging to get to the dirt beneath the grass.
The controversy is thicker than smoke following the implementation of legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado. California approved medical marijuana use back in 1996, but Colorado is the first in the nation to end marijuana prohibition. The new law is designed to generate tens of millions of dollars annually in new revenue and in criminal justice savings, while eliminating the underground market. The policy also regulates the amount of marijuana each person may possess, and Lavoro was over his limit—even in relation to Colorado law. However, if Lavoro had followed the appropriate steps and obtained a marijuana dispensary license, he would have been within his rights as a business owner—but only by Colorado standards. Since the enactment of Colorado Amendment 64, all eyes have been on the state, and the debates have raged on about whether the new law is a template for progress or a detriment to the state. It has been seven months since voters approved legalization and few of the anticipated problems have surfaced. Tax revenue and tourism are more lucrative than ever before, and even public support for legal marijuana use seems to be growing.
Besides the fact that marijuana is illegal where the 19-year old is accused of selling his baked goods, Lavoro also made bad business decisions. As a seller, Lavoro did not properly qualify his potential buyers, nor did he protect himself. He should have planned an exit strategy. This scenario is too common in businesses, where the owner is looking to sell. Lavoro’s situation differs in legal technicalities, but the proper structure of a good business plan never does. I detail more pertinent business tactics in my award winning and best-selling book, “Sell Your Business For More Than It’s Worth”.