Willie Nelson Is Opening His Own Marijuana Dispensaries

Willie Nelson’s entrepreneurial spirit has been well-documented. He launched a biofuel company back in 2008, owns a pair of Texas Roadhouse locations, and of course runs the small business that is his songwriting/recording/performing career. But the most obvious commercial venture for Willie Nelson didn’t become a reality until this week: now, finally, he’s opening his own chain of marijuana dispensaries around the U.S. (in states where that sort of thing is legal, of course). 

Willie told the Daily Beast about his plans to launch his own brand, and his own stores, at his annual SXSW event at his ranch in Luck: 

Jordan French, the Landlord Who Demolished the East Austin Piñata Shop, Has Been Forced to Resign From the Company He Started

The destruction of Jumpolin, the East Austin piñata shop that was demolished overnight last month, continues to make waves. The story blew up to national proportions shortly after the Lejarazu family, which owned the shop, first found the ruins of their store on the corner at which it had previously resided. The building had been bought by Jordan French and Darius Fisher of F&F Real Estate Ventures, two Austin entrepreneurs with both real estate holdings and tech industry businesses, who had the building demolished despite the fact that three years remained on Jumpolin’s lease.

French quickly became the face of the PR counteroffensive launched by F&F, insisting that the family was delinquent on their rent (the Lejarazus later released video of themselves paying their rent, a precaution that the Austin Chronicle reports they took after F&F had claimed they were in default). French also insinuated that the Jumpolin owners may have been selling drugs on the premises and gave a bizarre interview in which he compared the business owners to cockroaches.

Texas Sues to Stop RadioShack From Selling Your Personal Information in Bankruptcy Proceedings

If you were a regular customer at a RadioShack in the past decade—and given the company’s eventual fate, there’s a good chance you weren’t—then you may have noticed that they were one of the first chains to ask you for your address, phone number, and email address upon checking out. Gathering this information was ostensibly so they could send you mail about their upcoming bargains on radio-controlled cars or whatever it was people went to RadioShack for, and their privacy policy included a commitment that the company would not sell or rent your personal identifiable information to anyone at any time.

New Austin Pizzeria Hires Exclusively Via Snapchat

East Austin is a place of controversy these days. If it’s not landlords demolishing their tenants’ pinata shops without warning and calling the business owners “cockroaches,” it’s anti-gentrification pranksters putting “exclusively for white people” stickers on local businesses. And if it’s neither of those things, then it’s this: A pizza place is hiring its staff exclusively via Snapchat

In a listing spotted by eagle-eyed Eater Austin editor Meghan McCarron, forthcoming East Austin pizza joint Pizzabelli has taken to Craigslist not to actually recruit the staff that will serve what they claim will be “the largest selection of toppings, crust, prosecco and Italian cocktails in the country,” but merely to inform prospective pizzamakers and servers that if they want a job that will presumably pay them somewhere in the neighborhood of what every other friggin’ restaurant pays, they need to apply by sending a video to the company’s Snapchat account

SXSW 2015: Meet Some Faces Of The SXSW Economy

Taylor Mowrey Burge and her husband, Austin Burge, are having a baby in September. That’s an expensive proposition for anyone, but especially for people who work in the service industry. Taylor works with Coté Catering. Austin runs a coffee business that sets up shop at farmer’s markets and other events, and he does landscaping on the side—and they’re going to pay for all of their baby-related expenses with money that they make during SXSW. 

“Next week, I’m going to write a check to our midwife to pay for everything up front,” Taylor says as she walks down Sixth Street to a space above El Sol Y La Luna that, for an 8-day stretch of SXSW, is the Camel Lounge. “Otherwise, we’d be setting up a payment plan.”

SXSW 2015: The State of the Brands

As the substantial roar of SXSW Interactive and SXSW Film give way to the sustained, yowling, five-day-long, banshee-like shriek that is SXSW Music, the question, “Is SXSW 2015 a tipping point for the festival” starts to sound downright silly. Take a look at the streets of Austin, which have been packed for the past four days and will only get busier over the next five, and the question really becomes, “Does it even matter?” Kanye’s coming back, y’all—how can SXSW’s health be in question when you’ve got Kanye? 

Blue Bell Issued a Recall After Three Deaths Were Linked to the Brenham Creamery

Bacteria found on a single production line in Blue Bell’s Brenham creamery has been linked to five illnesses, resulting in three deaths, that have occurred over the past year in a Kansas hospital. As a result, Blue Bell issued the first recall in the company’s 108-year history on Saturday.

The bacteria that was found on the production line in Brenham is called Listeria monocytogene, which is usually transmitted through contaminated food, especially dairy products. The illness it causes is called listeriosis, which developed in the five patients. The Blue Bell outbreak is the first one of 2015.

The five reported cases of listeriosis all occurred in a single hospital, Via Christi, in Wichita, Kansas, and all of the infected patients were older adults, a group at higher risk of severe listeriosis complications. Each of the affected patients was already in the hospital for unrelated issues, and symptoms of the bacterial infection started developing between January 2014 and January 2015, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control.

The Alamo Drafthouse Will Allow Select Teenagers to Attend Without a Parent, Starting This Year

As the Alamo Drafthouse’s plans for expansion continue, the Austin-based chain is in the process of adding theaters in Corpus Christi, Laredo, and El Paso—which would bring the number of Texas cities they’re in to nine. And part of the expansion process involves maintaining the theater’s famously strict rules: no texting, no talking, and no seating if you arrive late for a screening. 

One rule they’re abandoning, though, is the strict eighteen-and-up age policy. While teenagers have been restricted from visiting the Drafthouse without a parent since the company’s inception, a thread on Reddit earlier this year changed the company’s perspective on its no-teens policy.

Is GameStop the Next RadioShack?

The death of RadioShack was a long time coming. Seemingly every year the company didn’t go bankrupt was a surprise, at least since 2005, when market forces and shifting consumer behavior sent the company spinning through CEOs at a breakneck pace (six in ten years). The writing on the wall was clear: if one-time retail behemoths like Borders, Blockbuster, and Circuit City can’t compete with online retailers, how on earth could there still be a friggin’ RadioShack? 

Austin Tech Bros From #BeSomebody Are Losing the Fight They Picked Against Local High School Students

The Austin tech start-up #BeSomebody—stylized like that, with the hashtag in the name—is built around an idea that makes a certain amount of sense. The company makes an app (with the same name as the company) that, when you cut through a bit of gibberish about “passionaries” and “finding your passion” and stuff, offers an attractive interface for connecting people who are interested in learning something with people who can teach them that thing. It’s like a prettier Craigslist for things like tuba lessons.

Is that a million-dollar idea? Well, considering that someone literally gave them a million dollars to pursue it last year, we would be forced to say yes. However, just because the company was able to secure seven figures in seed funding doesn’t mean that the message and worldview presented by its leadership is going to resonate universally.

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