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Show on the Road

How do you overcome a ban on your product? Take to the streets, and educate consumers.

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This story appears in the April 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Timing wasn't on Mike Fata's side when he and his partners, Martin Moravcik, 40, and Alex Chwaiewsky, 38, decided to expand their Canadian -foods company, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils, into the United States. They launched their products on the just 10 days before 9/11. A month later, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced a ban on hemp foods, causing the company's hemp products to be yanked off shelves.

In addition to challenging the ban in court, Fata, 28, and his took to the road to educate consumers about the benefits of hemp foods. Hundreds of in-store demonstrations later, Fata estimates they've reached more than 150,000 people annually.

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