7 min 25 sec

Bartender Writes Statewide Marijuana Guide

Colorado bartender sells 2,000 copies of a statewide marijuana guide in the boom of the budding cannabis economy.
Book PG 13 Product Self-Publishing Writing

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What It's About

After the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, a bartender sees an opportunity to document the state's trailblazing movement in the form of a book.

Business Model
Skills Required
Writing & Product Knowledge
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

As a self publisher, Johnny wanted his book to stand a little more than the standard CreateSpace way most people choose when they publish on their own. He incorporated his own LLC, Peak 1 Publishing, which cost $500, and used a printing company based in Minnesota to print Weedgalized.

Fun Fact

After making sales to friends who had been hearing about the project, and community members, Johnny now sells 25-30 copies a month to strangers just while bartending—which doesn’t include sales in novelty shops, gift stores, and of course book shops. He's also been featured on ESPN Talk Radio.

Notes from Chris

Episode 82

Whatever your thoughts on it, medical and recreational cannabis is becoming a massive industry as legalization becomes more common. It's now legal in one form or another in a number of U.S. states (26 at the time of this writing) and cities, and it's rolling out like a one-hitter across Canada too.

As with any budding industry, there are many opportunities to make money indirectly from it whether you're in a state where it's legal or not. In today's story, a Colorado bartender does just that and takes advantage of this formerly forbidden freedom to write a statewide marijuana guide.

Like a few of our other side hustlers (See Ep. 11, Ep. 38, & Ep. 65), Johnny decided to self-publish his guide, but he wanted to create something that had a higher quality than what you would he would get with a company like CreateSpace. He ended up creating an LLC of his own and makes $15 on each copy he sells. He’s sold over 2,000 copies so far, and it's becoming a nice little passive income for him each month.


  • Weedgalized: Learn more about Johnny and check out the book
  • Bang Printing: The company Johnny used to print his books.

  • State Marijuana Laws Map: International friends: in the event that you'd like to plan a trip to the states and experience this new frontier, here's a map showing marijuana usage laws for each state
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

Chris Guillebeau
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Quote of the Day
"It felt surreal to have a book that I wrote in my own two hands. Now that the smoke has cleared (pun intended), I feel lucky and grateful that I was able to complete such an endeavor."
—Johnny Welsh #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau