West Hollywood Responds to MedMen’s Petition to Void the Cannabis License Process

The City of West Hollywood today released a statement in response to a petition filed in LA Superior Court by Farmacy Collective (MedMen) last week that seeks to overturn its process for selecting those who qualify for recreational cannabis sales licenses.

“The City of West Hollywood is disappointed by the Superior Court petition it received late last week, Farmacy Collective v. The City of West Hollywood, asking that the court rescind the scores of all adult-use cannabis retail license applications and redo the screening process with a newly appointed evaluation panel,” says the statement. “West Hollywood’s adult-use cannabis license screening process was thorough, extraordinarily fair, and one that is being modeled by other communities in the State of California. All applicants were given a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the process and present the merits of their business proposals to a balanced and independent scoring committee.  The scoring process resulted in the merit-based selection of a diverse array of exciting and unique cannabis businesses for West Hollywood and the city is dismayed by the petition’s allegation of unfairness with the licensing process.”

In a petition filed last week, Farmacy Collective, the local entity through which MedMen operates in West Hollywood, asked that the court halt any action required to complete the application process for the winners of the

eight recreational cannabis licenses, who still must obtain state cannabis licenses and local business licenses. It also asked that the court order the City of West Hollywood to dismiss the independent panel chosen to evaluate the applications and appoint a new one. And it asked that the evaluation panel be required to give priority in its assessments to the four existing cannabis businesses, none of which qualified in the application process for permanent recreational sales licenses. MedMen argues that giving priority to existing businesses was the intent of some of those who crafted the 2016 voter initiative to legalize cannabis in California known as Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

The request, if granted, would have a major impact on the eight winners of recreational cannabis licenses, who have been securing retail space, hiring designers for those spaces and applying for the state and local business licenses. They include Aeon West Hollywood Inc., the Artist Tree LLC (The Artist Tree), Calma Weho LLC (Calma), Essence Weho LLC (Essence), J&P Consulting (Budberry), PDLP JV LLC (Greenwolf West Hollywood), Pleasure Med LLC (Pleasure Med), and Redwood Retail LLC (Lord Jones). Several prominent local residents and business people are associated with those winners. For example, Jason Illoulian of Faring, the real estate developer, is a partner in Calma. Soheil Yamini, the owner of Pink Dot on Sunset, is one of the owners of Greenwolf. And Brian Robinson, owner of the Pleasure Chest, is also the owner of Pleasure Med.

In its petition, MedMen not only criticized the city for failing to give any priority in the assessment to the existing cannabis business, but it also alleged bias on the part of Lynne Lyman, one of the five people who ranked the applicants. Lyman is the former California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, whose mission is to advance policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition. The Drug Policy Alliance was one of the co-authors of Proposition 64. The petition says that Lyman, while working with Drug Policy Alliance, had had a falling out with MedMen.


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Kate on Havenhurst
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Kate on Havenhurst

The selection was totally corrupted by having a city manager in charge instead of going outside for non partison leadership. Developers suddenly were in the pot business. Big surprise. A cabal of white developers own the city.

BILL
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BILL

AGREED!

Larry Block
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Larry Block

This lawsuit stains the push by the originals to retain their licenses. Medmen is actively building its direct to customer outreach – perhaps some of you have gotten their emails. Time is on their side. We should not extend their temporary permit past the end of this year as originally agreed .

Carter Riggs
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Carter Riggs

Couldn’t disagree more. An established publicly traded entity, MedMen, enjoys international reach, brand recognition, strict governance tools, and an enviable executive team tested at the likes of Target Stores, Apple Retail, and JC Penny. Yet, MedMen dismissed for connected novices: Pleasure Chest, Pink Dot, and RE developers tied to WeHo government. Where’s the oversight?

Larry Block
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Larry Block

They lost. The process was open. They never uttered a word during all the public input and hearings.

WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

They freely and enthusiastically participated in the licensing process – and lost. But that wasn’t enough – after they lost, they appeared to attempt to lobby the City. That didn’t work, either. Now it seems they want the Superior Court to believe the process was so unfair that everything needs to be dismantled, reconstituted, and then repeated. One would think that a going concern such as an operating cannabis business would be best-able to score higher than any of the proposed businesses, but like the protagonist in a Cheech and Chong skit, MedMen seems to have lost their way before… Read more »

Alan C
Guest

Completely agree with this. MedMen has gotten their way through the use of their over leveraged stock and desperate funding. They “acquire” their way into the markets and this time they encountered some reality that we’ve been dealing with for a decade. Those of us who have really knocked on doors and financially supported imitative after initiative to make this happen. Truth is (Adam & Andrew know this) Gotham Green Partners won’t fire them yet cause the stock has already been ravaged and they don’t need the press. Adam and Andrew have about two years left before they’re quietly dismissed… Read more »

Joshua88
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Joshua88

Was there really no depth to their (MedMen) argument? Sure makes it seems like they offered testimony without evidence – or rather, commentary.