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Lawsuit Filed by Michel & Associates Against Terra Tech on Behalf of Alleged Former Partner Forced Out of Santa Ana Cannabis Shops

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: nextshark.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Santa Ana cannabis businessman Wojciech Smolenski, through his counsel at Michel & Associates, PC, has filed a complaint in a Santa Ana court against his former employer, Terra Tech Corp., and alleged former partners contending that Terra Tech and other defendants defrauded him of profits from development of Santa Ana cannabis businesses. Terra Tech, a publicly-traded company specializing in cannabis operations, entered the Orange County cannabis market in 2017 when it acquired The Reserve retail cannabis store in Santa Ana and rebranded it as a Blüm store. Terra Tech later acquired an ownership stake in another Santa Ana cannabis operation, The Healing Tree Collective.

In addition to Terra Tech, Smolenski’s suit names affiliated companies and officers of Terra Tech as defendants.  Smolenski claims that Terra Tech and two company officers used false promises of a partnership in developing several Santa Ana properties into cannabis businesses to induce him to allow Terra Tech to take over lucrative real estate deals on those properties to which Smolenski had exclusive rights.

Smolenski’s July 20, 2019 cross-complaint claims that Terra Tech fêted him to join Terra Tech and several others as a partner in developing Santa Ana cannabis businesses. Terra Tech brought him on board as a company executive.  Smolenski then alleges in his lawsuit that once Terra Tech gained his trust, Terra Tech and its officers terminated his employment and forced him out of their partnership in two other cannabis businesses.  Smolenski’s complaint against Terra Tech, its subsidiaries Medifarm So Cal and 55 OC Collective, and Terra Tech officers Michael Nahass and Derek Peterson, alleges causes of action for fraud, contractual breaches, and employment law violations.

According to Smolenski’s complaint, Terra Tech sought to expand its cannabis business into Orange County in 2017 by purchasing an existing cannabis business in Santa Ana with which Smolenski was affiliated, The Reserve.  Smolenski’s suit alleges that after Terra Tech acquired The Reserve, Nahass and Peterson then began actively recruiting Smolenski to partner with them and Terra Tech to grow the acquired California operations as well as develop new retail, manufacturing, and cultivation businesses at other Santa Ana properties.  Smolenski claims that in exchange for partnering with Terra Tech on developing new businesses at Santa Ana “Green Zone” locations Smolenski was already in escrow to purchase, Peterson and Nahass agreed that Terra Tech would front capital costs on the businesses and share profits from those businesses with Smolenski.  Smolenski claims they also agreed to employ him with a lucrative salary and benefits as a high-level employee of Terra Tech.

Smolenski claims that these promises were shams to get control of the two Green Zone properties Smolenski was already in the process of purchasing.  Specifically, his lawsuit alleges that once Smolenski transferred the purchase rights over to Terra Tech, and secured city cannabis licenses for the properties, Peterson and Nahass came up with pretextual reasons to fire Smolenski from his Terra Tech job and repudiate the existence of the partnership.  Smolenski also claims that Terra Tech failed to provide him stock options and pay bonuses he had earned at the time of his termination from his employment.

Smolenski’s complaint also claims that Terra Tech has a practice of going into new markets, finding investors or local cannabis operations, and then purporting to partner with them only to later force them out.  Smolenski’s claims are similar to claims in a lawsuit settled earlier this year between Terra Tech and a Nevada investor.  In November 2018, Terra Tech and other affiliated companies and officers, including Nahass and Peterson, were sued in a Reno court in Medifarm I, LLC, v. Terra Tech, Inc.

That lawsuit claimed that local Reno businesswoman Heidi Loeb Hegerich was solicited by Nahass, Peterson, and others to contribute capital and other assets to a joint venture with Terra Tech to open Reno-area cannabis businesses. That lawsuit alleged that after Hegerich contributed capital and joined the venture, Terra Tech and other partners improperly diverted assets from the venture, attempted to lock Hegerich out of the operations and the books, and began working with a competing cannabis business.

That lawsuit was settled within three months after it was filed, with Terra Tech paying the plaintiffs $6.3 million but disclaiming liability. Terra Tech has recently decided to sell the Reno dispensary that was part of that lawsuit—Blüm Reno—for $15 million.

Smolenski’s complaint comes in response to Terra Tech’s own lawsuit against Smolenski, Smolenki’s wife, and an affiliated company that was filed earlier this year.  Among the allegations in that complaint, Terra Tech claims that Smolenski stole money from the company, damaged a company computer, and sold cannabis products for Terra Tech but failed to remit the proceeds to Terra Tech.  Smolenski filed an answer to Terra Tech’s lawsuit in July denying the claims.  Terra Tech has not yet answered Smolenski’s suit.

SOURCE Michel & Associates, PC

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Cannabis

What Trends Are Shaping The Cannabis Industry In 2019?

Alex Marginean

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Photo by Drew Taylor on Unsplash
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cannabis has been on the path of an upward spiral ever since the news of legalization broke from the west. The trend is slowly catching up on various parts of the world. More research, news, and information to expand the knowledge of people around the globe about cannabis have also begun to emerge. Today people from everywhere are excited to learn about the miracle plant and understand how to incorporate its usage to benefit them. Even the legal ties around the plant are slowly vanishing with an expanding body of research, and we can understand cannabis in its entirety very soon. The global market for the product is also expanding, with more industries looking to include cannabis-based products in their range. Investments, new medical and non-medical applications, legalization, cultivation, and so much more are in line for cannabis as its trends in 2019. Some of the most popular trends of 2019 around this plant that has captured the world’s attention are listed here.

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1. Binging with Weed beverages: Cannabis edibles have been an innate part of the cannabis industry. While the legal terms around cannabis edibles are still rocky, CBD, the non-psychoactive cousin of THC in cannabis is taking over the world by storm. CBD has become the base for the cannabis beverage trends that promise a whole new level of flavored drinks and energy drinks. Hemp-derived beverages have started making a place in the regulated dispensary channels, whereas towards the end of the year, the possibility of further commercialization is visible. The farm bill is an encouraging front that promises the possibility of such progress. Beverages are more result focussed, such as drinking coffee for energy or tea for relaxation as compared to food in general. Hence the emergence of cannabis in this market is a trend to watch out. Historical top brands are looking at possible tie-ups and partnerships to introduce cannabis-infused lines that could change the course of the cannabis industry within the next few years.

 

2. The Blurring lines of Legalization: While legalization started with medicinal use of marijuana in focus, the latest trends show the line thinning between recreational and medicinal use. The regulations imposed in most places seem to help control the use of recreational marijuana. It indicates that marijuana sales for multipurpose consumption without restrictions on the application will become more common in the days to come. The line between medicinal and adult-use channels is dull, and there is a lot of crossover between these applications. Consumers are evolving through cannabis trends such as edibles, beverages, topicals, etc. With cannabis becoming such an integral part of their lifestyle, the lines may thin further.

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3. Alleviating approachability:  The digital market platforms available have eased the process of shopping in every segment. Cannabis is no exception to this trend, as online market platforms have become a personal favourite for most weed consumers. While legalization started in various areas, issues such as location and accessibility of dispensaries posed as a problem for consumers to try this plant. But online shopping platforms promise high quality, are easier to browse, you can shop with tons of more choices than in a dispensary. One should know the particular information about when to harvest cannabis ?. After that, all they have to do is order indoor cannabis seeds and start growing. Smooth delivery at home is possible to enjoy your cannabis is complete ease.

 

4. Climbing the social ladder: After many years of constant turmoil and social degradation as a drug, cannabis has managed to remove the stigma around it in the past few years. More consumers are becoming aware of the plant and its benefits, and hence it is finding its way into mainstream social gatherings. Cannabis themed cafes and restaurants, and cannabis-friendly gatherings are popping up in various locations across the world. Also, consumption in places such as lounges is becoming common in certain areas. Coffee shops, pubs are keeping up with the evolving trend to stay on top of their games. It is an important trend as cannabis is gradually becoming a social situation stimulant. It could be good news as some believe that the expansion of cannabis could eventually bring down tobacco consumption.

 

5. The Cannabinoids in Command: Cannabinoids are the hotshot cousins of THC that have taken over the cannabis world in the past few months. Being a non-psychoactive ingredient, CBD has been able to pave way for marijuana beyond the boundaries of dispensaries into general stores and markets. The education among users to understand the difference between THC and CBD is slowly spreading. A lot of understanding regarding the different terpenes and cannabinoids of cannabis is underway. The current market for CBD is mostly relying on ingestible forms such as CBD oil Canada and tinctures. But the future holds a wider range of options such as infusion in vitamins, beverages, supplements, food, pills, and most of all, inhalable.

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6.Dependable Distribution roots: While the past years witnessed a boom in cannabis business at cultivation and retail levels, this year is all about emerging in the distribution channel. The number of distribution-based companies primarily focused on segments such as packaging, labeling based on licenses is emerging into the sector. One such trusted company is get kush. One should buy from getkush.ca as they have a plethora of high-quality CBD strains at affordable prices. The scope for these companies is large, and a boom in this market is promising for tons of new companies to emerge. With laws such as Multi-States Operators rule, which is also the latest development in the cannabis industry, the opportunities for these companies are ample.

 

The past few years have shown tremendous growth in the cannabis sector. The years to come promise improvements in cultivation techniques, distribution channels, better market access to consumers, and opportunities in new sectors. These improvements will help us witness the evolution of cannabis.

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Beauty and Lifestyle

Is It Safe To Drive On CBD?

Alex Marginean

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Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Safe driving requires sharp skills and the right state of mind. How you drive the car depends on a lot of conditions. From feeling dozy, being under the influence of alcohol to experiencing anxiety from mental issues, all sorts of things can mess up your control at the wheel. Cannabis consumption also becomes part of this list due to its ability to make you “high,” thereby thwarting your response. While Cannabis contains some psychoactive compounds, Hemp, which is a strain of Cannabis Sativa, is mostly free of such compounds and is legal for consumption. It’s worth a closer look to understand if CBD, which is a compound found in Hemp, really sucks if taken before your driving session.

Can CBD trouble you while driving?

CBD or “cannabidiol” is a chemical compound widely found in the Hemp strain of Cannabis. While Cannabis has a big impression of being “mind-altering,” it is primarily due to the presence of THC compound.

CBD has a negligible quotient of THC in it and hence is not considered psychoactive. But that doesn’t mean it is entirely okay to drive on CBD since it can have some other effects on your body. So the answer is: it depends on the consumer.

If you are accustomed to taking CBD, then it won’t be a problem in most of your activities. However, if you are only starting, observe how you hold up on CBD before you crank up the engine.

Most of the marketed CBD supplements carry less than 0.3% THC element in them, which makes them risk-free. This level of THC can’t produce any significant mind-altering effect, which can cause harm while driving.

 

Can CBD help you while driving?

CBD is a Cannabinoid which is being gradually explored by researchers due to its medicinal values. Studies suggest that CBD can help us cope with several issues in our day to day life like inflammation, obesity, indigestion, etc.

CBD’s organic nature works positively with the human body’s Endocannabinoid system and provides various benefits to the body. It can regulate certain chemicals in the human body and thereby lift your mood and relieve you of anxiety.

CBD oil and pills are also an excellent replacement for the regular allopathic doses, which come with a lot of side-effects that may curtail your physical abilities. The easiest way to get familiar with CBD and test your tolerance level is by having a taste of CBD Pills. The pills are convenient as you can simply swallow them and continue with your daily chores.

 

How should you approach CBD if you are one who is often at the wheel?

Users consume CBD in multiple ways. From vape to pills, tinctures, and gummy bears- CBD’s multifaceted form makes it a popular substance for people of all ages. Since CBD is a new phenomenon for most people who are not well-educated about it, they usually confuse CBD with the psychoactive THC element, which is quite dominating in its influences. The truth is that CBD’s extraction process is entirely independent of THC, and there is no reason you should confuse the two.

Different products derived from CBD compound have different levels of impact. A pill may take many hours to make you feel relaxed while also lasting for a longer time. On the other hand, skin lotion or even an injected solution of CBD can prove its effects reasonably quickly but may soon lose its influence. So you should judge your circumstances and choose the way which suits you best.

 

Here are some points to keep in mind if you are a driver and have decided to embrace CBD:

  • If you are a long-time consumer of Cannabis products, there is no reason for you to bother. CBD may relax you, but it is not going to intoxicate you in any way. So you will be in the best of states to handle the steering.
  • If you are a newbie and have never consumed anything related to Cannabis, relax; CBD is not going to make you “high” like other THC-induced products. However, you may feel lightheaded after taking CBD if you are not much accustomed to it. In such cases, you shouldn’t drive until you feel okay.
  • After an intake of CBD for the first time, it is better if there is a co-driver with you in the car who can take control if you feel drowsy.
  • CBD has minimal THC content and is harmless in itself. However, you should monitor how you are coping with it and be mindful of the quantity that is suitable for you.
  • Although CBD’s source strain Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, the products may bring you legal problems if you travel abroad with those. Most governments allow a THC volume ranging between 0.2-0.6%, but you should be sure about the local rules before you hit the road.
  • If you are still concerned about your post-CBD driving sessions, search for CBD products that are certified to contain 0% THC. Click here to know more about the cbd.

Final suggestions for drivers willing to try CBD:

The recent studies and experiments on Cannabis have brought several positive results. As the medicinal values of Cannabis are getting more and more acceptance on a global level, the apprehensions regarding it are also decreasing. One should understand that there are different varieties of Cannabis, and people use them in different ways based on their needs. If you wish to get high, there are different strains for that purpose. Nowadays, hybrid strains are developed to give different results to users.

 

As far as CBD goes, it is by far the safest option in the world of Cannabis. One of the reasons for CBD’s increasing popularity is its flexible usability. CBD can be used as edible oil, capsules, or even lotions. Combine its utility, easy availability, and legal permissibility; you have a substance that can make life comfortable without severe consequences.

While most of the studies on CBD are at their initial stages, it is safe to say that if taken in a specified dosage regularly, CBD can help people cope with particular mental and physical issues. Everything said you should remember that driving is a serious task that asks for all your concentration. Hence, it will be prudent to go slow and understand your tolerance level so that there are no harsh effects. You can always consult your doctor to check the initial impacts of CBD solutions on your body. A steady start will help you drive “high” in the long run!

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Cannabis

Cannabis Can Treat Epileptic Seizures

Alex Marginean

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Photo by Get Budding on Unsplash
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cannabis has been used for millennia to treat many conditions. It has long been known that cannabis can help with pain, depression, and was even used in ancient China as an anesthetic for surgery.

It has also been recognized millennia ago as a potential treatment for epilepsy. However, it wasn’t until recently that we have had the scientific studies to back those beliefs up.

It all began with a girl named Charlotte Figi. Charlotte has a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. At just three months old, Charlotte had her first seizure. The seizure lasted half an hour. It only got worse from there; as Charlotte got older, the number and severity of her daily seizures increased. Some of the seizures lasted up to four hours.

By the time that Charlotte was two, she began showing signs of cognitive decline and displaying signs of autistic behavior. She had aggressive outbursts, would injure herself, and was reluctant to make eye contact. At one time, Charlotte was having up to three hundred grand mal seizures a week, despite being on heavy duty anti-seizure medications. At times, her heart stopped during the seizures. Charlotte’s parents and doctors eventually put her into a medically induced coma to allow her to recuperate. They even signed a do-not-resuscitate order in the event that something went horribly wrong.

Then, Charlotte’s grandfather started reading several success stories from parents who were using cannabis to treat their children’s seizures. Another boy with Dravet’s Syndrome and his story stood out. Charlotte’s doctors had said that they had done all they could. In desperation, her parents got a hold of some R4 cannabis extract oil for Charlotte. A miracle occurred. Charlotte went from 300 seizures a week to zero seizures during her first week of treatment. Seeing that the cannabis treatment was helping, Charlotte’s parents reached out to the Stanley Brothers, who run medical marijuana farms and dispensaries in Colorado. They created Charlotte’s Web, a hybrid strain of medical marijuana, which contained a 30:1 mixture of CBD to THC.

After Charlotte’s success story came a number of others. All from parents whose children were helped by Charlotte’s Web and other high-CBD cannabis treatments. Anecdotal stories are one thing, but is there scientific evidence? The answer to that is yes.

In 2016, Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center and colleagues across multiple research centers published the results from a study of a cannabis-based drug for treatment-resistant epilepsy in the journal Lancet Neurology. 162 patients were treated with an extract of 99% cannabidiol (CBD) and monitored them for 12 weeks. The treatment was given in conjunction with existing medications.

The results were more than promising. The treatment resulted in the reduction of motor seizures that was comparable to similar drugs. 2% of patients reported being seizure- free. The trial led by Devinsky was the most robust assessment of CBD’s effect on epilepsy. Unfortunately, these trials were open trials and had no controlled factors.

However, more recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a highly purified oral preparation of CBD. In the open label expanded access programs as well as placebo-controlled trials, there was a significant improvement in seizure frequency when compared to the placebo patients with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The drug that has been approved by the FDA is the prescription medication known as Epidolex.

The results from the gold-standard studies of Epidolex were extremely promising. In the group receiving 20 mg of CBD twice daily, the occurrence of seizures dropped 41.9%. In those receiving the 10 mg dose, seizures dropped by 37.2%. In the placebo group, seizures dropped by 17.2%. Like with all other medications, even treatment with CBD oil has its side effects. For the most part, the side effects are well tolerated and only a few patients experienced side effects serious enough to stop taking the medication. The most commonly reported side effects were sedation, decreased appetite, and diarrhea.

When it comes to the legality of CBD treatments, especially those not approved by the FDA, there is good news. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill hemp and hemp-derived substances are exempt from the Controlled Substances Act. This includes CBD oil, which can be purchased at places like TheAmsterdam. Even though it has been legalized, it is important that any parent or patient speak with their doctors before beginning any treatment.

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