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Florida Will Be The Next State To Legalize MMJ

Florida Will Be The Next State To Legalize MMJ

After years of tension between the states and the federal government, Congress quietly voted in December to end federal drug raids on medical marijuana facilities in states where MMJ has been legalized.  This was an important step in the process to legalizing medical marijuana nationwide. Twenty three states and DC have already legalized MMJ and/or recreataional marijuana, with another 13 states currently hammering out ballot measures for the upcoming elections.  Here is why Florida is poised to be state number 24. There Is Already A Law on The Books On June 16, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014” (Senate Bill 1030) into law.  This Act allows for low-THC strains of Cannabis such as Charlotte’s Web to be prescribed by certain physicians and to be used by patients only for certain seizure conditions for which there is no effective alternative treatment. While this law was passed last summer, implementation has been mired in red tape.  Growers and distributors have not yet been established.  In fact, the Marijuana Policy Project does not, at this time, consider Florida to be a medical marijuana state. A State Constitutional Amendment Nearly Passed in 2014 The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2, was narrowly defeated on November 4, 2014.  The measure required 60% voter approval but just missed the mark with 58% of the vote Opponents of the amendment called it de facto legalization of marijuana.  They pointed out various loopholes that would have allowed people access to cannabis who would not necessarily be using it for medical purposes, and others such as teenagers and drug dealers who...
Creating Success: The Top 5 Advisors Every Owner Needs

Creating Success: The Top 5 Advisors Every Owner Needs

Even if the “Force” is with you, you still need a great team for advice and support. As your business grows, it’s hard not to wear many hats: manager, business development, HR, bookkeeper, marketer, even janitor.  When there is no one else to do the job, you step in and get it done. However, the most successful owners and GM’s have learned that you don’t have to go it alone. There are advisors who can help you along the way dealing with the challenging areas for small business: growing top line revenue, expanding margins and limiting liability. Success in these areas require guidance and expertise. Here are the top 5 advisors you should have on speed dial:   1. The Business Mentor Perhaps one of the most important (and often free) advisor choices you can make is the business mentor.  A business mentor can be a proven expert in your field or an entrepreneur in another field who is a little farther down the path that you are. A trusted mentor will be there to listen and advise you when the going gets tough, offering comfort, advice and information to get you back on track.  Whether this advice happens over the phone or over a cup of coffee, a great mentor will point you towards a recommended course of action to help you succeed.   2. The Legal Advisor Whether you are just getting started or you have been in the business for a few years somewhere along the way legal advice will be required.  Trusted legal counsel does much more than just represent you in the event of...
2015 Trend Alert: Cyber Liability

2015 Trend Alert: Cyber Liability

As the internet continues to grow, B2C and B2B businesses alike are increasingly using the internet to grow their customer base, manage operations and share information. With this expansion comes the increased likelihood of hacking and data breaches.  In 2014 alone, Community Health Systems, Home Depot, and even the US government experienced cyber attacks and data breaches. Cyber Crime Is On The Rise The average company is compromised every 4 days.  These cyber attacks include malware, Trojan viruses, lost or stolen equipment, website attacks and malicious insiders.  Sadly, your virus protection software can’t protect you from all of these threats. The California Office of the Attorney General released a report that said the records of 18.5 million California residents were breached in 2013, up a staggering 600 percent from 2012.  The global economy internet economy is calculated at around 2-3 trillion dollars, with cyber crime extracting around 20% of that value.  That is a lot of money lost over time. It Isn’t Just Big Businesses That Are Vulnerable To Hackers Cybersecurity firm Symantec ran a major study in 2013 that surprised many experts. The study found that 31% of all cyber attacks in 2012 were on firms with fewer than 250 employees.  Small business has been blindsided by these attacks; unaware and ill-prepared for the threat. Small businesses are often the subject of cyber attacks because they don’t employ the same high-end security employed by larger businesses, and they rarely have access to risk managers who can keep on top of cyber security.  Even your business is at risk. Cyber Crime Can Cost More Than You Think Consider these claim examples: An employee takes...
Don’t Forget To Add This To Your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions!

Don’t Forget To Add This To Your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions!

As the 2014 calendar year comes to a close, we are all presented with an opportunity for reflection and 2015 planning.  While many businesses had their best year ever in 2014, every business owner knows there is room for improvement. New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to set the bar high for the New Year and achieve your goals. If you’ve already made a list of resolutions for yourself, maybe it’s time to think of at least one more for your business:  double check your insurance needs with a Hayes Broker. Has It Been A Couple Of Years Since You Looked Over Your Insurance Policies? It might be time to look at the rating basis on your policies and make sure they are covering the entire scope of your evolving business.   Ask Yourself These Questions: Has my payroll increased or decreased significantly in the last 12 months? Have my sales or receipts increased or decreased significantly in the last 12 months? Have I moved or purchased any property in the last 12 months? Have I purchased any business vehicles in the last 12 months? Have I purchased any business equipment (large or small) in the last 12 months? Have I added any new ventures to my existing operations in the last 12 months? Business Expansion = Liability Expansion As businesses expand, insurance needs do, too.  Minimum liability insurance limits may have been adequate in the beginning, but as your business grows, so do your insurable exposures. More sales may mean more people coming through the front doors.  That could mean more opportunity for slips and falls, or...