Connect with us

Cannabis Now

Week in Review: Jay-Z Sued; Hawaii Says “Aloha” to Recreational Pot; Heavy Metal Debuts

Jay-Z sued
PHOTO Steve Grantiz/Wireimage

Current Events

Week in Review: Jay-Z Sued; Hawaii Says “Aloha” to Recreational Pot; Heavy Metal Debuts

ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s latest news from across the cannabis spectrum.

Jay-Z’s Monogram and TPCO Sued

Monogram, the cannabis company owned by billionaire rapper Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, is facing serious allegations in a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court on February 16, according to SFGate.

Cathi Clay, a former vice president of The Parent Company (TPCO), a California-based cannabis company that operates the Monogram brand, claims to have “experienced years of harassment” from the company’s executives who allegedly acted “aggressive, demeaning and publicly questioned her abilities.” Clay also alleges that Chief Financial Officer Mike Batesole made “many inappropriate comments about women, hiring ‘housewives’ to perform accounts payable, people of color and skill sets of employees.”

The lawsuit also claims that executives shipped cannabis across state lines from California to New York “for a Monogram event with Shawn Carter”—an act prohibited by California’s cannabis regulations and a federal felony. Additionally, Clay claims that TPCO made “inaccurate” payments with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in both 2021 and 2022.

In an email to SFGate, a spokesperson from TPCO said, “The company does not comment on active litigation and plans to defend itself strongly against the false accusations.”

The SFGate reports that according to a summons filed with the court, TPCO has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit and an initial court hearing “has not yet been scheduled.” 

Hawaii Senate Advances Cannabis Legalization Bill

PHOTO shanemyersphoto

The Hawaii Senate voted in favor (22-3) of SB 669, a cannabis legalization bill that would legalize adult-use cannabis, on Tuesday.

SB 669 would allow adults 21 and older to possess, share and transport up to 30 grams (or one ounce) of cannabis. The law also permits up to six cannabis plants, including a maximum of three mature, flowering plants, to be grown indoors. The legislation also lessens the penalties for unlicensed cannabis cultivation and sales and provides for the expungement of some marijuana-related crimes.

“For years, advocates have been working to pass legislation to sensibly legalize cannabis in Hawaii,” said DeVaughn Ward, senior legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project and Hawaii resident, in a statement from the group. “Now that this bill has advanced out of the Senate, Hawaii is one step closer to becoming the next state to end cannabis prohibition.”

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Stanley Chang (D), Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D), Sen. Angus McKelvey (D) and Sen. Joy San Buenaventura (D) and now heads to the opposite chambers for consideration. If passed, it would make the Aloha State 22nd in the nation to legalize recreational cannabis.

Heavy Metal Entertainment & Berkshire Roots Announce Partnership

Heavy Metal Cannabis
Image courtesy of Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal Entertainment (HME) and Berkshire Roots, one of Massachusetts’s leading cannabis cultivation and dispensary operators, has announced a partnership in which Berkshire Roots will provide new flower strains and develop distinctive cannabis products branded “Heavy Metal” to go along with HME’s plans to provide its fanbase with cutting-edge and thrilling new media and experiences while also luring in new customers to its rich history of tales and characters.

Heavy Metal launched in 1977 as a print magazine that combined iconic adult-themed concepts and characters in a way that was unmistakably reminiscent of comic books. The magazine continues to highlight incredible new talent and renowned creators and primarily features interviews, artist galleries and stories. Along with the legendary magazine, HME also publishes a wide array of comic books and graphic novels; runs a podcast network; and operates a budding television and film studio.

“When we were all introduced to Berkshire Roots, we immediately gravitated to the idea of a connection between our brand and cannabis,” said Heavy Metal Studios President Tommy Coriale. “We can’t wait to see this product connect to both the long-time fans and the younger generation who are just getting to know Heavy Metal for the first time.”  

Berkshire Roots CEO, James Winokur called the partnership “game-changing.”

“Building on the reputation and consumer loyalty Berkshire Roots has established since it launched, we’re now in a position to guide other brands that want to enter the cannabis market and Massachusetts specifically,” Winokur says. “I think this model is game-changing for the industry and I can’t think of another partnership like this in the cannabis space.”  

The Heavy Metal cannabis line will premiere at the Berkshire Roots booth during the New England Cannabis Convention Boston trade show from March 10-12 and will be available from selected retailers throughout Massachusetts.

Pure Imagination Festival Dreams Up 2023 Lineup Featuring Ziggy Marley and Lucinda Williams

Image courtesy of Pure Imagination Festival

Described as “a festival of music, wonder and breathtaking views,” Pure Imagination, an eco-forward, female-founded, all-ages destination festival, has announced the not-to-be-missed lineup for the May 20 event, located on Watson Lake Park near Prescott, Arizona.

Headline acts include eight-time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley, Lucinda Williams, Capital Cities and recent Grammy nominee Allison Russell. Beloved Southern hip-hop group Nappy Roots, Brandy Clark, Ponderosa Grove, Jared James Nichols, The Brummies, Johan Glidden and Cole Ramstad (DJ Sets) will also perform at the family-friendly event.

“I’m so thrilled that Pure Imagination festival was embraced so beautifully in our inaugural year,” said the event’s founder Candace Devine, who’s scheduled to perform with her band, Ponderosa Grove. “It’s the energy of our community and those who travel from near and far that create the magic that has continued to inspire all of us.”

Watson Lake Park is located in the spectacular Granite Dells and High Desert of Northern Arizona, which has mild and welcome seasons, clean air, beautiful lakes and otherworldly natural scenery. Miles of hiking paths, on-site lawn games, frisbee golf, 20 food trucks and kayaking are all available to festival attendees on the grounds. Tickets are available on the Pure Imagination website.

More in Current Events

To Top