A board meeting revealed some confusion about some commission investigations.
A board meeting revealed some confusion about some commission investigations.
The new business strategies will look to stave off cash burn in the coming quarters.
10% of the workforce will be laid off.
Pesticides used on hemp and tobacco will be permitted.
A cautionary tale for businesses about cannabis transportation.
High rent and heavy competition appear to have challenged profitability.
ACT Laboratories said that the deal provides access to the Massachusetts market and beefs up its scientific leadership.
The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Sept. 26, 2022.
California Regulator Says Illegal Cannabis Business Should Pay $128 Million
California’s cannabis regulation authority wants a group of business owners to pay $128 million in collective penalties for manufacturing and selling unlicensed products in the state for more than a year – which the state says the defendants admitted in court. Read more here.
Green Thumb Accused of Sex and Age Discrimination
Green Thumb Industries (OTC: GTBIF) was accused of sex and age discrimination by a former employee that worked in a Rise dispensary in Pennsylvania. Carrie Baker filed the complaint on Sept. 22 alleging that she was “forced out” for not fitting with the corporate culture, which was described to her as young, single men. Baker is in her mid-fifties and said she was passed over for a shift supervisor role given to a substantially younger male co-worker. Read more about the case here.
Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Skirts Laws, Raises Health Concerns
At least a dozen states have banned the hemp-derived product, including Colorado, Montana, New York and Oregon, which have legalized marijuana. But delta-8 manufacturers call the concerns unfounded and say they’re driven by marijuana businesses trying to protect their market share. Read more here.
Incubator 1871 to Launch Cannabis Program
1871 is getting into weed. The startup incubator at the Merchandise Mart plans to launch a cannabis-industry innovation lab, bringing startups together with larger companies. The four-month program will launch in January in partnership with Grown In, a Chicago-based startup focused on providing cannabis training. Read more here.
Berner’s Cookies Heads to Pennsylvania, Wiz Khalifa Takes on Florida
TerrAscend said that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with TRP – the cannabis holding and operating company with the exclusive rights Cookies products – to cultivate and manufacture Cookies products in the Keystone State. Read more.
Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) will launch Khalifa Kush medical cannabis products in Florida this weekend — part of an exclusive partnership with multi-platinum selling artist Wiz Khalifa. Read more.
UK-Based Cannabinoid Product Producer Looks to Acquire Cannaray Brands, Love CBD Health
Cellular Goods (LSE: CBX), UK-based wellness company providing lab-produced cannabinoid products, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Cannaray Ltd, the owner of Cannaray Brands Ltd and Love CBD Health Ltd. Under the terms of the deal, Cellular Goods will complete a reverse takeover of the Cannaray subsidiaries and acquire 100% of the issued share capital. Read more here.
Amazon Still Says No to Drugs, Boots Marijuana Businesses
Amazon says its guidelines around drugs and drug paraphernalia are longstanding and state that products can’t be primarily designed for making, preparing or using a controlled substance. For example, grinders that are equipped with features specifically for marijuana-related use are not allowed on the platform. Read more here.
4Front Ventures Launches Premier California Cannabis Brand in Massachusetts
4Front Ventures Corp. (CSE: FFNT) (OTCQX: FFNTF), a vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operator and retailer, has brought its premier California cannabis brand, Island Cannabis Co., to Massachusetts. Following the company’s acquisition of Island in April, 4Front began cultivating 11 new Island flower strains at its state-of-art flower facilities located in Holliston, Georgetown and Worcester, Massachusetts. Read more here.
Updates from Ignite Brands, Green Organic Dutchman, Viridian Capital Advisors and Glass House Brands.
The dispensary tip jar continues to grab the headlines with the latest news of a settlement between Massachusetts cannabis company Bud’s Goods and Provisions and the state’s Fair Labor Division of the Attorney general’s office. The popular cannabis dispensary agreed to repay numerous current and former employees as part of a $33,000 settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General following a complaint from an employee that the company kept tips from its budtenders. 68 employees who worked between March 1, 2021, and the end of 2021 will receive between $20 and $1,500.
“Our employer is taking our tips,” wrote Victoria-Lynne Rushton in a complaint submitted to the Attorney General last year. “They have us put the tips into a lock box, we do not see the money and we’re not told what was made each shift.”
The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division cited Bud’s Goods & Provisions and its CEO Alex Mazin, individually, for violating the state’s law against improper tip deductions on May 3. “Every employee in Massachusetts is entitled to workplace benefits and protections, which is why our office’s Fair Labor Division works actively to protect earned wages, hold employers accountable to our laws, and inform and educate businesses about their obligations,” said a spokesperson for the Attorney General. “We are committed to ensuring a level playing field for honest employers and a fair environment for workers.”
The employees complained that the money wasn’t fairly distributed. The evening workers felt that they earned the highest tips but had to share those tips with co-workers that didn’t interact with the public. The money was typically used to buy food for the employees. This created another issue because they accused the company of buying food during the day and by the time the evening employees arrived, the food had been sitting out all day. This especially irked the evening crew who believed they earned the higher tips.
This settlement comes at the same time as Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF) recently pushed back against an employee lawsuit that sued the company for the contents of a tip jar. Former employee Morgan Heller filed a complaint in March accusing the company of not giving the employees $126,000 that had been collected in tip jars. Heller says the managers took the money instead. Curaleaf wants the Illinois federal court to dismiss those claims saying it never agreed to pay those tips to workers in the first place. Curaleaf’s position is that tips were not part of the employment agreement and had told the employees as such.
A Curaleaf spokesperson said, “It’s unfortunate that this disagreement has become a legal matter, but facts are facts. No managers (or anyone) at Curaleaf ever stole tips and Curaleaf strongly denies the allegations in the complaint. As with any lawsuit, allegations are made and fact-finding occurs throughout the course of the litigation. We stand by our decision to request this baseless lawsuit be dismissed.”
Massachusetts has proven itself to be on the side of the cannabis workers. Last year, the AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation in December 2020 following a complaint from a worker about premium pay. Fair Labor’s investigation determined that 282 employees were owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in premium pay for work performed on Sundays and covered holidays. Under the terms of the settlement with the AG’s Office, Theory Wellness has agreed to pay in full (roughly $300,000) the premium wages owed to impacted employees. The company cooperated with the investigation and has since come into compliance with the premium and holiday pay laws.
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