Budding entrepreneurs looking at ways to get into a niche market — catering to marijuana users within legal bounds — anted up $250 each to take a seminar last week that was supposed to take place at the Burbank Holiday Inn. But the Burbank Police Department got wind of the event, called the hotel and, once apprised by the police of the seminar's topic, officials there decided to cancel the program. The city has banned medical marijuana dispensaries, so clearly there is a predisposition against such activities here.
Not all was lost for Robert Calkin, president of the Cannabis Career Institute, as he simply moved his seminar to the Universal City Hilton and students followed. But that didn't stop Calkin from being miffed and claiming the cancellation of his chosen Burbank venue was "totally un-American."
Any hassle Calkin felt was largely self-induced. Had he not booked the room at the Holiday Inn under the name "CC Institute" — instead of spelling out its full name — perhaps the reservation would have been declined from the start and he wouldn't have found himself scrambling. But he chose subterfuge and then cried foul after the truth came to light. We have no objections to the nature of his business, but if the mission of it is to teach others how to operate their start-ups ethically and within the letter of the law, perhaps he should look within.