CBD Billionaire

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CBD Billionaire: A Modern Parable

Last Free Dates: 20th Sep 18 to 24th Sep 18
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...This is not a nuanced view on the hemp debate. More importantly, in a book you pay for, it isn't that entertaining....

This is a tale of someone who has one penny, meditates and then finds a free hemp plant and trades her way up in the world.

Fairytales and modern parables work because you don’t want to strangle the main character. By the second page I was pretty certain she sustained herself purely on her sense of smug self-righteousness. She also believes everything anyone tells her. I do mean anything, including a serious chemistry fail: lemons don’t increase alkalinity by anything like as much as they increase acidity, you know, because of citric acid…

I also wondered if HMRC took barter or if she was in for a nasty shock as I am pretty sure they’d expect her to pay VAT on each transaction as it is obviously in the course of trade. Then again, tax evasion and billionaires isn’t exactly unknown.

This is trying to be propaganda in favour of cannabis and hemp, with no real plot. I wouldn’t suggest reading this unless you are familiar with the debate, as nuanced it is not and the younger or less cynical might not see the issues with it. There are real stories of people starting with a paperclip and trading their way up. I’d suggest one of those if you want a relaxing read, and this one only as something for a class to use as a class in critical assessment.

It is hard to root for a heroine who evades tax, makes a big deal about FairTrade while not paying her national insurance, and whose final contribution to her community while living in a mansion’s is a big pot of stone soup (neighbours duly invited to add the veggies.) A detailed read shows that while she sometimes helps individuals she only ever helps them when it is to her own benefit, and never does anything herself to change the world. She gets rich less from her trades than from spinning it into a media story, again not a sustainable form of income, and again an external input.

Also she did not create a sustainable economy: it is entirely dependant on outside inputs and technology. The 3d printer may use hemp wire, but the printer itself is metal and plastic. What happens when it breaks? They don’t have the skills to maintain it.

The idea of someone trading up using a single product is a fascinating one, but it is poorly realised and she never faces any real disagreement, opposition, or real world difficulties. Sadly it is not entertaining enough to make up for that lack.

Rating: 2
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