Article by Mary Rees, Berkeleyside
Debby Goldsberry, co-founder of Berkeley Patients Group, wrote Idiot’s Guides: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business in a brisk five months, and it hit bookstore shelves in June.
The timing couldn’t be better, as the adult recreational use of marijuana becomes fully legal in California on Jan. 1. But that’s not what motivated Goldsberry, now executive director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, to write the book.
“I had just been reading an article that said the best way to build your brand is to write a book,” Goldsberry said, so she raised the idea with the Magnolia marketing director. On Facebook a few days later, one of her friends posted, “Does anyone want to write an Idiot’s Guide about starting and running a marijuana business?”
Spurred on by that coincidence, Goldsberry fleshed out the publisher’s skeletal table of contents, submitted a sample chapter, and won the book contract. She was off and running.
“My idea was to provide the best resource for our community that I could, and that meant going out to content experts and bringing them into the book, too,” Goldsberry said. “I did not write this thing all alone.”
For example, Goldsberry worked with the author of Drug War Facts for the chapter on state and federal laws. He had been researching and writing about the issue for a dozen years and had gathered all the data into one book, Goldsberry said.
Starting and Running a Marijuana Business describes the differences between dispensaries and cultivation facilities and discusses operating as a non-profit or for-profit business. It offers practical advice on topics such as setting up a welcoming reception area, raising initial capital (bank loans to marijuana businesses are almost unheard-of), training knowledgeable staff and adhering to local and state laws.