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Main Street Morning: Marijuana industry is on fire

Marijuana plants grow at the a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle.
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Welcome to Main Street Morning, The Washington Post’s daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses, with a special focus on policy and government.

Here’s what’s affecting my small business, my clients and other entrepreneurs today.


•  The Federal Reserve decides to leave interest rates unchanged.

•  Here’s how much you would save or lose under Obama’s new tax plan.

•  Republicans are looking to unseat a congressional budget official.

The Economy

•  Small businesses are starting the new year with gains in hiring and the average paycheck.


•  A popular blogger who started his own for-pay site decides to call it quits.

•  A bumper crop of apples a few years ago inspired this entrepreneur to go into the cider-making business.

•  An entrepreneur seizes an opportunity after spotting a gap in the cloud computing market.

•  An inspiring entrepreneur shares his plan to end hunger on The Ellen Show.

Customer Service

•  How eight small businesses stayed connected with their customers during winter storm Juno.

Cash Flow

•  Six things you must know before selling your business.

•  How to tell if that travel review is fake. 

•  These are five small business grants to consider.

•  A new white paper offers an update on the future of payment technologies.


•  Cheaper gas is giving small businesses big savings each month and creating expansion opportunities.

•  Legal marijuana is now one of America’s fastest growing industry – and it may be No. 1 soon. 

Social Media

•  Facebook says 69 percent of its ad revenue now comes from mobile.

•  Facebook also helped this business owner track down cash stolen from his business.

•  An 81-year-old U.S. Senator is an enthusiastic tweeter.


•  Can you guess what makes Bill Gates feel stupid?

•  These are the dates every business owner needs to know for 2015.


•  Amazon challenges Google and Microsoft with its own email service and adds seller-shipped marketplace items to its super saver shipping program.

•  China passes the U.S. as the world’s largest source of spam.

•  A platform for connecting independent businesses with their communities is rolling out new apps.

•  A business owner says his website was hacked by ISIS sympathizers.


•  A mobile loyalty start-up raises $3.5 million and a Web page analytics firm raises $35 million.

•  Here’s the job description for Boston’s “start-up czar.” Do you fit the bill? 

•  Another promising start-up is regulated out of business.

Super Bowl

•  A soda company adds a deflategate-inspired drink to its offerings.

•  Uber teams up with Animal Planet and the Puppy Bowl to deliver adoptable puppies to customers’ offices for 15 minutes of playtime.

•  A Carl’s Jr.’s Super Bowl ad stirs controversy.

•  GoDaddy decides to pull its Super Bowl ad amidst concerns that it promoted animal abuse.

•  Phoenix entrepreneurs are finding that renting out their homes to Super Bowl visitors can bring big bucks.


•  Personalized direct engagement is still the preferred method of contact among business buyers.


•  A brewing company considers putting beer in cardboard bottles.


•  Microsoft’s OneDrive adds “super-intelligent” searching of document text and photos.

•  This service wants to manage your smartphones for $3 a month, per user.

•  Enterprise communications service Slack plans to add video and voice chat.

Around the Country

•  The owner of a popular Philadelphia restaurant could lose his diner to a planned hotel.

•  California might replace the state’s gas sales tax with a mileage tax.

•  To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Deluxe Corporation is telling the stories of 100 small businesses around the country through video and photo essays.

Around the World

•  How U.K.’s the queen of tech is turning London into Silicon Valley.

•  A typo causes the collapse of a 124-year-old Welsh family business.

•  Dubai is now the world’s busiest airport for international travel.

•  British men are reclaiming hosiery.

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. Follow Gene Marks and On Small Business on Twitter. 

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