Katrina Haffner's Reviews > Big Weed: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business

Big Weed by Christian Hageseth
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed

While browsing the library, I came upon this book, and being a drug policy activist who is unfamiliar with the business side of marijuana (other than, ya know, being the customer at 502 stores in WA), I decided to give this a read.

To be honest, I'm not sure what I was expecting. It was different from what I saw on the cover, and after I read through the book, I think I figured out what was going on. Technically, what's talked about on the cover is explored in the writing. I think what made the cover feel so different from the actual story is that the cover feels very impersonal, while the narrative is not - it's a personal story about Christian Hageseth's passion for his marijuana business, and why he believes that he and other venture capitalists can make the world better by expanding this field.

Looking over some reviews, it seems like some readers are turned off by what they call the author's "self-promotion". To be honest, I'm not sure how such a story could be told without self-promotion. For me, this works well for the book. He's not writing a business primer for the marijuana industry, but rather his own experiences and why he believes such innovation is important for the world. His voice is crystal clear.

And ah! it's so refreshing to read about someone in the industry who doesn't talk about bringing down capitalism in order to end the drug war. As someone who is also simultaneously interested in business and philanthropy, I really liked his perspective on the industry and legalization movements. His passion for positively changing the world shows even more when he writes about the boy in Mexico who walked to the US on foot to sell marijuana to support his family, and other instances of individuals taking initiative, or his seething at governments punishing those for harmless actions.

Personally, I thought the beginning was slow, but it picked up once he started the business. By then, I didn't want to put the book down. I think the book's weak points are its organization and conglomeration of different stories. I think some of it could have instead been written into other books, or perhaps even a blog series. As for what I wish he could have written more about would be capitalism's role in refining the landscape for legal marijuana. He talks about the inevitability of Big Weed (like Bi Pharma or Big Agro), but doesn't expand much on it. With the title of the book, you would think it would go more into that.

I would especially recommend this book for entrepreneurs and investors, no matter what you believe about marijuana. Would the anti-capitalist drug policy activist enjoy this book? I have no idea.

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Reading Progress

November 12, 2017 – Started Reading
November 12, 2017 – Shelved
November 27, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 1, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed

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