CCC opens virtual mold investigation, Resinate dispensary calls cops on farmer protest, Bieber weed, and more…
Mold and greed report
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Holistic Industries calls themselves a "Greenhouse of Brands", owning dispensary chain, Liberty Cannabis; and producers, Strane and DO Drops. They also partner to distribute Garcia Hand Picked, a Jerry Garcia legacy brand.
A September 30th Monson Board of Health meeting revealed that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has opened a virtual investigation of a mold outbreak at Holistic Industries.
A virtual inspection
“That was a decision by the Cannabis Control Commission, the initial response by the Cannabis Control Commission is that it would be an unannounced, physical inspection, upon hearing that it was allegedly mold contamination, the CCC felt it was safer for their employees to have a virtual inspection” Monson Board of Health chair Nakita Sullivan shared at the meeting, “Obviously, with a virtual inspection, it couldn’t be 100% unannounced.”
The BOH also disclosed that the CCC has requested info on returns of products, cleaning, maintenance, and air filter logs.
The timeline on the mold from the company’s OSHA response is that it was discovered in June, BOH Chair Sullivan seemed skeptical on that June date, citing a leaking roof that was installed in 2017 and a power outage in December. She also questioned the lack of a swift response to repair the roof.
Anne Hassel, a licensed occupational therapist, and a cannabis industry whistleblower also speaking at the hearing quoted two of our past reports on mold and the hazardous, worker safety issues at New England Treatment Access, “Is there moldy cannabis in Mass” and “Dispensary workers note unsafe conditions, during pandemic and always” and printed up copies for the BOH to read for themselves. She warned what to expect from the two agencies OSHA and the CCC, her experience after reporting NETA’s mold to both agencies, “So what happened? Nothing was done. I give your board a lot of credit, the only reason that they (the CCC) are even having a “virtual” investigation.”
Hassel also asked the obvious question, “And a virtual investigation, there are (Holistic Industries) workers in there, why isn’t the CCC sending people in there?”
Hassel closed by asking the BOH to “think of the workers”.
Jerry Garcia’s brand isn’t the only celebrity brand tied to moldy distributors. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Resinate dispensary calls cops on local farmers
This last weekend, a group of farmers gathered to protest a “farmers market” event held by Resinate, a dispensary chain in Worcester. The farmers market event included sponsors, Holistic Industries, Strane, and Liberty Cannabis.
One of the protestors, Nathan Andrade shared his reasoning for the protest, “Farmers and farmer supporters are picketing today in solidarity for the rights for farmers to gain equitable involvement in the cannabis industry.”
His wife, Averyl Andrade added, “Corporate cannabis companies cannot pretend to be farmers and throw ‘Farmers Markets’ while working to prevent actual farmers from entering the legal cannabis industry.”
The Andrades are local farmers who have been denied a license to grow cannabis in the Commonwealth.
With allegations that the police were called on the protesters, I reached out to Resinate founder and CEO, Peter Decaro who initially definitively denied that Resinate had called the police on protestors.
Decaro claimed that the police had been scheduled to be there well before the protest was announced telling us, “We coordinated a police detail prior to the event.”
However, a call to the Worcester Police Department painted a different picture, the police confirmed that the dispensary had indeed placed a call to complain about the protesters.
Decaro when presented with this confirmation from the Worcester Police had this to say, “My security verified that a call was placed to them to follow up on the fact the detail wasn’t there. They probably indicated that protesters were there but there was absolutely no formal complaint.”
Decaro also seemed to defend their decision to include Holistic Industries as part of the farmers market promotion, “In all fairness, I don’t know the outcome of that (CCC) investigation, from what we’ve seen there haven’t been any complaints made.”
Really doing his due diligence on the products that Resinate advertised as “Best in State”.
Bieber Justice at NETA?
Earlier this month, local press gushed that moldy NETA had struck yet another celebrity sponsorship this time with pop singer, Justin Bieber. None of the local coverage noted the ridiculousness of being for “justice” in cannabis while selling your product at one of the nation’s largest dispensary chains, a chain that currently is a defendant with a case before the Massachusetts Board of Labor.
Bieber with his Parallel/NETA partnership follows in the footsteps of “Margaritaville” Jimmy Buffet who earlier this year also ignored worker complaints for the sake of dollar bills. Show me the money.
What is even sadder? The local Boston and Worcester press prints it all word for word not once questioning why celebrities like Bieber would want to be associated with a brand that cares so little about their workers, signing deals with an employer that has had “more fires than fire drills”.