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High Stakes: How This Marijuana Company Gained Buzz in a Budding Market

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This story appears in the January 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The bed was a mattress on the floor, the night tables two cardboard boxes. It wasn’t exactly what Ata Gonzalez and his wife had envisioned. Just a couple of years earlier, they had made millions in the Florida real-estate market, only to lose it all in a music venture that completely drained their savings.

G FarmaLabs
Buzzworthy: G FarmaLabs’ tricked-out treats.

They traveled to California to stake a claim in an even more adventurous business: the burgeoning medical marijuana trade. “I was a step away from being homeless,” recalls Gonzalez, who lived on cheese sandwiches as he waited for his first cannabis harvest at the farm he was renting. “The pressure was intense. My wife gave birth a month before harvest. I don’t know how I didn’t have a heart attack. You hear all these stories that people would come and steal your crops.”

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