Daily Business Report-Feb. 10, 2014
San Diego Company Poised to
Harvest and Sell Marijuana
A San Diego County company may be one of the first local firms to get involved in the harvesting and sale of marijuana in Colorado, which legalized the recreational use of the drug in 2012. The first marijuana sales began last month.
Strategic Global Investments Inc. announced today that it is negotiating the purchase of a marijuana growing operation in Teller County, Colo. The company’s intention is to expand and renovate the cultivation process with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced growth and harvesting techniques “in an effort to capitalize on the recent legalization and resulting high demand of cannabis in Colorado,” the company said in a press release.
“Strategic’s plan is to have the memorandum of understanding signed by mid-February and the final agreement signed by the beginning of March, with construction to modernize the operation beginning in February and the first new crop started in the first week of March, according to Andrew Fellner, president and CEO of Strategic Global.
The company, said Fellner, has fully evaluated the industry and expects to be able to yield a harvest and generate revenues from the sale of plants by the third quarter of this year.
Colorado began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1. Fellner said an influx of new marijuana consumers continues to growth, presenting a “lucrative opportunity” for the company. He said marijuana dispensaries cannot keep up with the rising demand for high-quality marijuana.
According to its website, Strategic Global Investments is a diversified company with ventures in online media, digital advertising, social media and emerging technologies. It also owns resort property in Los Cabos, Baja California. The company has offices in San Diego and Carlsbad.
Maxwell Technologies Provides Processing
Power for European Space Agency Satellite
San Diego’s Maxwell Technologies Inc. supplied seven of the single board computers that are providing processing power for the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, which lifted off on Dec. 19 last year to survey more than a billion stars and other celestial bodies to trace the origin and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy.
Gaia is a key European space mission financed and implemented by the European Space Agency. Gaia was developed by European aerospace companies, with Airbus Defence and Space France-based unit, formerly known as Astrium, as prime contractor and payload supplier. Maxwell supplied the computers through a $3 million subcontract with Airbus Defence and Space’s United Kingdom-based satellite unit, which designed and manufactured Gaia’s seven video processing units.
The Maxwell SCS750 space computers, which are incorporated into Gaia’s VPUs, are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to process images and data gathered by the two-ton satellite’s two telescopes and billion-pixel digital camera. The massive volume of data that will be collected during the five-year ESA mission and the precision of the imaging instrumentation will enable scientists to create a three-dimensional map of the galaxy and study its formation with unprecedented detail and accuracy.
UC San Diego Professor to Lead Panel
On Nuclear Plant Decommissioning
Southern California Edison, majority owner of the San Onofre nuclear plant, has named UC San Diego professor David. G. Victor as chairman of a new Community Engagement Panel that will keep the public informed about the decommissioning of the plant.
Victor, 48, a professor of international relations and director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, is recognized among energy leaders as a forward-looking voice on critical energy issues, said Ron Litzinger, president of SCE.
“David Victor has the vision, leadership and experience to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure the San Onofre decommissioning proceeds in a thoughtful and inclusive way,” Litzinger said.
Victor said his work on the board of Electric Power Research Institute and as chairman of EPRI’s Advisory Council for two years helped prepare him for the CEP role.
Hyatt House San Diego/Sorrento Mesa Sold
RLJ Jodging Trust of Maryland has agreed to purchase the Hyatt House San Diego/Sorrento Mesa as part of a $313 million hotel acquisition with Hyatt Hotels Corp. Hyatt House San Diego is one of 10 hotels involved in the acquisition.
San Diego Career Fair Scheduled for Feb. 27
Job seekers and employers seeking workers are invited to San Diego Career Fair on Feb. 27 sponsored by Diverse Careers Inc., a job board website and career fair management company. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel San Diego/Mission Valley, 7450 Hazard Center Drive.
The recruiting event is open to everyone and is free to all job seekers. Job seekers may also search jobs and post their resumes (www.diversecareers.com) prior to the event.
Some of the companies confirmed to participate include: Aflac, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Gemological Institute of America (GIA), National University, Sea World San Diego, The Hartford, The Pollakov Financial Group and Wells Fargo.
Employers and recruiters interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the event should contact Marcel Abandonato at (951) 479-1350.
California Drought Feeds Interest for Water-Wise Landscaping
California’s emergency drought declaration is driving up interest in more water-efficient landscaping in San Diego. Cuyamaca College’s water conservation garden sold out so far this year, KPBS reports.
The six-acre garden highlights plants that will thrive in San Diego’s climate without requiring buckets full of water.
Education director Elizabeth Ramos said all of the water management classes have had waiting lists so far this year and staff are already booking slots for the next class in March.
“They can see plants in various stages of growth and get an idea of what they might look like in their home landscape,” Ramos said. “And we also dispel the myth that water-wise gardening means just cactus. And rocks. People when they tour the garden, they see six acres of plants that thrive in mediterranean climate.”
Ramos said the water garden’s website is also seeing more traffic with the number of visitors up 10 percent in January.
Children’s Books by San Diego Author Receives Family Choice Award
The popular Kathryn the Grape series authored by San Diegan Kathryn Cloward — three children’s books and a music CD — has been honored with the 2014 Family Choice Award presented by Family Magazine. The award recognizes the best in children’s and parenting products.
Cloward, the founder and CEO of Kandon Unlimited Inc., home of Kandon Publishing and Kathryn the Grape Company, said the award represents a “stamp of approval from one of the most coveted, family-friendly consumer awards programs in the nation.”
The series consists of “Kathryn the Grape Just Like Magic,” “Kathryn the Grape’s Colorful Adventure,” “Kathryn the Grape’s Piece of Love,” and “Believe — Kathryn the Grape Songs for Kids of All Ages.”
Cloward, a 2010 winner of SD METRO’s 40 Under 40 Award, is currently working on the fourth book in the Kathryn the Grape series as well as another music CD that will accompany it. She’s also overseeing the production of soft-cover versions of the first three books, which she said will facilitate easier worldwide distribution — in preparation for their translation into at least three other languages by the end of the year.
“I’m delighted that the entire Kathryn the Grape series was honored and I’m thrilled about being associated with the Family Choice label, which reflects that our brand resonates with families,” Cloward said. “My intention has always been to share engaging books and music that have universal appeal, and these awards affirm that we’re hitting the mark.”
The Kathryn the Grape website (www.kathrynthegrape.com) explains how a childhood nickname became a character:
“The idea for Kathryn the Grape to be a children’s book character originally came from Kathryn Cloward’s mother, Mary. In 1999, Mary shared with her daughter a desire to write a children’s book centered on a character named Kathryn the Grape — the grade school nickname Kathryn affectionately acquired from her softball coach, the late Nello ‘Mr. P’ Pierozzi. At age 11, Kathryn welcomed the fitting moniker, a fun adaptation of “Catherine the Great,” because she loved the color purple and wore it every day…”