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October 21 2022,
THE BIG IDEA
We’ve been going through a tech transition. The worst of it is over, and it will help us serve you better, but today’s newsletter may look a little janky. Thanks for understanding.
In the newsletter:
- Lawsuit alleges rampant potency inflation at Jeeter
- Boston-area union files complaint against Trulieve
Hope you find it valuable,
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WW CALIFORNIA PRO
SCOOP: Lawsuit alleges “systematic” potency inflation at Jeeter
A potential class action suit alleges that the makers of Jeeter prerolls defraud customers by “systematically” overstating the THC content of their products. The suit, filed Thursday in California court, cites WeedWeek reporting which found widespread potency inflation in tests of seven leading California preroll brands, including Jeeter. The defendants didn’t respond to a request
Desert Hot Springs (Riverside Co.)-based defendants Dreamfields Brands and Med For America, “have a direct financial incentive to overstate the THC content of their products,” the suit claims. Filed on behalf of two California plaintiffs by LA-based firm Dovel & Luner LLP, it alleges, “If defendants told the truth they would have had…”
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UFCW files complaint against Trulieve in Mass.
A Massachusetts union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Trulieve has interfered with employee’s rights to organize at a Framingham, Mass. dispensary.
- Interrogated employees about union activities
- Mandated anti-union meetings
- Requested employees to call police on union organizers
- Fired a pro-union employee
Aidan Coffey, organizing director at UFCW 1445 said the MSO aims “to produce a chilling effect on organizing drives throughout the commonwealth and country for Trulieve workers”
The company responded: “Trulieve rejects these allegations. We’re proud of our success, which is the result of management and workers who work well together. These allegations are flat out wrong.”
Update: Lorna McMurrey, (1994-2022)
In Western Massachusetts, which is covered by a different UFCW Local, Trulieve released its most detailed statement to date on the January death of factory worker Lorna McMurrey. The company described it as an effort to clear up misinformation that has been circulating since podcast The Young Jurks broke news of her death in late September.
Among other new key details, the statement says McMurrey fell into distress on January 4, apparently meaning she was in the hospital for a few days before she died.
The statement says that when McMurrey indicated she wasn’t feeling well she was invited to leave with pay but she elected to stay.
- A unnamed source who told that to The Green Paper newsletter also said, “The salacious headlines of “cannabis killed…” are really a scare tactic that is working extremely well on behalf of the Unions.”
- The source also “verified Lorna had asthma, was a smoker, and attributed her death to her pre-existing condition: not cannabis dust. ” [emphasis theirs]
- The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration had previously cited cannabis dust as cause of death. It has since retracted that and does not list a cause.
- McMurrey’s first supervisor Danny Carson at Trulieve previously told WeedWeek that he believed McMurrey’s respiratory condition deteriorated while she was working for the company.
Areas where the statement conflicts with or brushes against WeedWeek reporting:
- I previously quoted Carson, who wasn’t there, and an unnamed employee who was, that the EMS team faced unnecessary delays reaching McMurrey, specifically around whether they had to wear clean room gear in the factory. Trulieve says the EMS response was smooth, though declined to provide video or other evidence.
- The unnamed witness said McMurrey had been working in the grinder room, and that operators ran the machines with dirty filters because they were a lot of work to clean. Trulieve says she was in the pre-roll area, not the flower grinding room.
- Trulieve also disputes Carson’s allegations that staff weren’t adequately trained for emergencies.
- Trulieve says McMurrey had access to an N95 mask which she wore at least part of the day. Carson, a six-year Air Force veteran, said employees should have access to respirator masks. Lack of access to respirator masks is apparently standard throughout the industry.
- The company says the facility “has a special industrial air filtration system that exchanges the air in the grinding room and has been certified by an independent engineer.” They declined to name the engineer, their organization or the relevant certification.
- Starting next year, Circle K convenience stores will start hosting MSO Green Thumb Industries’ Rise dispensaries on their property, starting with 10 locations in Florida. It has 600 locations in the state alone. The dispensaries will have separate entrances.
- Uber Eats said it would start delivering weed in Toronto, in partnership with Leafly.
- High Times Holding says its in default on $28.8M in debt.
Green Market Report
- Green Market Report also has the latest on MedMen‘s claim that it can’t be forced to pay rent because it’s federally illegal.
- Santa Cruz-based Jane Technologies, which facilitates online sales for retailers, introduced a new iPhone app which uses a patented technology to make personal product recommendations. TechCrunch
- New Cannabis Ventures discusses the worst way to invest in cannabis.
- Think tank Tax Policy Center weighs in on the pros and cons of pot taxes.
State and Local:
- Five states are set to vote on legalization this coming Election Day. Arkansas, Missouri, Maryland and North Dakota voters will decide on REC. South Dakotans will vote on whether REC should be legal but wouldn’t create an industry.
- Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) set a March 7, special election to vote on REC.
Cannabis Business Times
- Libertarian site Reason calls Gov. Newsom’s promise to wipe out the illegal market a “progressive, environmentally conscious, labor-friendly war on weed.”
Fun and interesting:
- The L.A. Times finds the 13 scariest places to be high in L.A. Beware the The Burbank Ikea. 🙃 That’s right, I can use emojis again! (Don’t ask.) 🌲🌲🌲
- Former CEO of MSO Parallel James Whitcomb started Frontier Risk Group to develop the industry’s first tech-enabled insurance offering.
- Cookies tapped NOXX for a retail and distribution partnership in Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Colorado operator Native Roots named Adria Hamberger VP, Human Resources.
- Engineering firm Urban Gro named Bruys Henderson senior business and project development manager.
- Turning Point Brands, parent of ZigZag papers among others, named Graham Purdy CEO.
- Today and tomorrow, Albuquerque is hosting Lucky Leaf, the city’s first industry trade show since legalization.