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May 26 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
Very excited to say the WeedWeek Pro Slack community is live.
The idea is to make it a hub for sophisticated conversations and networking. I plan to do an AMA there in the not too distant future.
In the newsletter:
- SCOOP: Jeeter faces raft of labor suits
- What’s the matter with Oregon?
Enjoy your well-deserved long weekend,
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WHAT YOU MISSED IN WEEDWEEK CALIFORNIA PRO
SCOOP: Lawsuits allege sexual harassment and labor violations at Jeeter parent
The parent company of Jeeter, which claims to be the country’s top pre-roll brand, faces at least five lawsuits alleging sexual harassment at other labor violations at its facility in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
One case, filed by the ex-girlfriend of Jeeter sales executive David Solano alleges he wooed her when she was a brand ambassador, accelerated her career while they were dating and then “expressly abused, belittled, demeaned and mistreated” her after they had broken up, and he remained her boss.
Solano, the twin brother of CEO Sebastian Solano, denies the allegations.
- In another suit, a former employee alleges she was repeatedly and inappropriately groped by a security guard, sometimes several times a day.
Jeeter parent Dreamfields didn’t respond to requests for comment. It, or its co-defendants, have denied all the allegations.
The company ranked #144 on Inc. magazine’s 2022 list of the 5,000 fastest growing private U.S. companies.
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WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH OREGON?
Oregon, it’s widely agreed, produces some of the country’s best weed.
But the state market continues to careen from crisis to crisis. A long post in Canna Law Blog attributes some of the state’s struggles to regulator Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission’s (OLCC) tendency to treat big businesses more leniently than small ones.
The current exhibit A is La Mota, the state’s second largest dispensary chain.
Reporting by in Portland alt-weekly Willamette Week, found that the agency continued to license , despite millions in unpaid taxes, numerous lawsuits alleging unpaid debts and mistreated employees and a host of other problems.
- Oregon’s ambitious Secretary of State had to resign after Peel broke news that she’s a paid La Mota consultant.
- Canna Law Blog cites other examples of small companies punished more harshly than big ones. OLCC has been “using its cudgel to beat down small operators. No big outfit has had a license revoked,” the post argues.
Meanwhile Oregon growers are up in arms — Sophie Peel again — over the state’s new requirement that product get tested for aspergillus. “While aspergillus has been found to cause serious lung infections through inhalation among people who are severely immuno-compromised, the Oregon Health Authority could cite no data linking aspergillosis to the use of cannabis.”
- Oregon’s famous sungrown plants are more likely than indoor crops to test positive, industry leaders say.
- One farmer said the fungus testing could push him to close shop after eight years of building a brand.
- Here’s Canna Law Blog‘s take on the aspergillus issue.
- A group of former federal drug czars, who served administrations of both parties, oppose banking reform.
East Bay Express
- Marijuana Moment checks out GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ “fairly mixed” record on weed
- “Q1 earnings season was not especially helpful.”
New Cannabis Ventures
- Though Twitter has relaxed cannabis advertising rules, regulations, the platform’s unfamiliarity with the cannabiz and cost remain stumbling blocks.
- Hulk Hogan is joining Mike Tyson, rapper Future and Ric Flair in Carma HoldCo‘s stable of celeb brands.
State and local:
- Hop latent viroid, is believed to be in 90% of California farms. A new diagnostic test for the blight, from Oakland company Purple City Labs, may help.
- A Minnesota REC bill is heading to the governor’s desk.
- REC is back on the table in the New Hampshire legislature.
- In Texas, MED expansion is in “legislative limbo.”
Green Market Report
- New York regulators argue a group of MSOs has no standing to sue it over the state’s REC rollout.
Health and science:
- New research out of UCLA found cannabis may not pose the same risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as tobacco.