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Strange Business: Medical Marijuana Vending Machines Make a Comeback in San Diego


Plus, Disney promises to keep Star Wars' integrity.

Marijuana Machines

Source: Chicago Tribune
San Diego may soon get its medical marijuana dispensaries back after their removal during a crackdown in 2011. To protect the machines, Medbox (PINK:MDBX) outfitted the 800-pound boxes with armor coating. Patients must swipe their prepaid cards and press their fingerprints in order to gain access to the medicine. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will ask the San Diego City Council to consider an ordinance allowing the reopening of 30 of these vending machines in the city.

The Force Is Strong With Disney

In order for Disney (NYSE:DIS) to acquire Lucasfilms, the company had to allay George Lucas's fears of his universe becoming "desecrated." Lucas says he always had more interest in the films themselves rather than the money they generated. To understand Lucas' galaxy during negotiations, Disney had to peruse the Holocron, a database that includes information on Star Wars' 17,000 characters and several thousand planets covering a span of 20,000 years. Disney has been praised for keeping other creative companies true to their original vision after acquiring them -- for example, Pixar after its acquisition from Steve Jobs and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Marvel Comics after its acquisition from former CEO Isaac Perlmutter and former studio chief Kevin Feige. To keep his say in the company, Lucas handpicked Kathleen Kennedy to head Lucasfilms once Disney had acquired it.

Medical Tourism Market: Worth $60 Billion -- and Growing!

Increasing numbers of Europeans travel to other countries -- sometimes even within Europe -- as medical tourists. According to Helmut Wachowiak, a professor at the International University of Applied Sciences at Bad Honnef in Germany, the global medical tourism market is worth between $40 billion and $60 billion annually and is growing at about 20% per year. Through survey results, consulting firm IPK International found that 3% to 4% of the world's population travels to foreign countries for medical treatment.

Waving Money in Your Face

Not motivated to lose that extra weight? Try financial incentives. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that 62% of individuals followed their weight loss plans and lowered their body weight when offered a monetary reward compared to the just 26% of those who followed their regimens when offered no compensation.

Garden Chic

The British have made gardening chic. Women are following the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton's lead and wearing equestrian-styled clothing when in the garden. Urban Outfitters' (NASDAQ:URBN) Terrain garden-lifestyle stores have jumped on this trend and sell Dubarry boots and jackets. These stores will also sell Le Chameau (LON:MMP) boots beginning in the spring.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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