According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the allegations of illegal interstate marijuana deliveries stem from MSO Harvest Health & Recreation’s attempt to take over Verano, a deal that failed in March 2020.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Colorado, targets dozens of cannabis executives and companies, including Verano CEO George Arcos.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Nicholas Nielsen, is a former employee of Natural State Wellness Enterprises in Arkansas who was arrested in January 2020 for illegally growing marijuana in his home.
When Nielsen was arrested, the natural state was managed by Harvest, and separate lawsuits against Harvest alleged that Nielsen was growing marijuana on behalf of Harvest. Nielsen repeated this claim in a new trial.
According to the Sun-Times, Nielsen’s indictment also alleges:
Verano was the source of the cannabis stubs he used to grow plants at home.
The clippings were provided to Nielsen by Michael Frontier, a Verano employee who was indicted in 2019 in connection with an illegal gambling ring.
In a statement to the Sun-Times, a Verano spokesman called the allegations in the lawsuit completely false and absurd and said the lawsuit is a collection of sensationalistic and imaginary series of events.
A Harvest spokesman also defended himself, saying the lawsuit was full of inaccuracies and was nothing more than thinly veiled extortion by Nielsen and his lawyer.
Nielsen, who is facing multiple criminal charges in Arkansas, told law enforcement officials he would certainly testify against Frontier, Verano and his former bosses at Harvest. He says his former supervisor told him it was legal to grow crops in his home.
Verano is traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol VRNO and on the US OTC markets under the symbol VRNOF.
The plant is traded on the CSE as HARV and on the US OTC markets as HRVSF.