Cannabis

Former marijuana enforcement officer, entrepreneur indicted in massive Colorado trafficking ring

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Former marijuana enforcement officer, entrepreneur indicted in massive Colorado trafficking ring

Former marijuana enforcement officer, entrepreneur indicted in massive Colorado trafficking ring

A former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer and a Denver-based marijuana entrepreneur already the target of fraud allegations were indicted in connection with a suspected massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring that operated throughout the state.

A grand jury cast a wider net after the March indictments of 16 people in an allegedly illegal marijuana trafficking ring led by Michael Stonehouse, and on June 7 indicted former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division officer Renee Rayton and three others. According to court records and the indictment obtained by The Cannabist, warrants were filed for the arrest of Rayton; entrepreneur Scott Pack, whose businesses Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC also were charged; and Travis Bridle and John Edward Loos, both growers and suspected middlemen in the operation.

Pack, whose businesses hold 14 marijuana licenses, played a “pivotal” role in the Stonehouse drug-trafficking organization responsible for illegally producing and selling millions of dollars worth of marijuana across state lines, according to the grand jury’s indictment. Earlier this year — in a lawsuit first reported in April by Denver Westword — Pack and Rudy Saenz, who was indicted in March, were sued by former investors who claimed they lost close to $1 million because of the duo’s fraudulent scheme.

Investigators claim that Rayton, a former Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy who joined Colorado’s MED in 2015, left her enforcement division job in the fall of 2016 after Pack offered her a 6-month, $8,000-per-month position as a compliance consultant. She started working for Pack — and pocketing cash from illegal operations — barely two weeks after leaving her post, investigators allege, in violation of state licensing policies requiring a six-month “cooling off” period before former employees can work in an industry related to their oversight.

During her involvement with Pack and his Harmony & Green businesses, Rayton also told a source that she was aware of compliance breaches and said “that she knew ‘(Department of Revenue) employees’ who would help the (drug-trafficking organization) ‘get legal,’” according to the indictment.

Officials for the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County said they do not comment on open cases. Pack, Rayton, Bridle and Loos could not be immediately reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the state’s marijuana regulatory agency said via email that MED was “actively engaged” in the investigation. She also noted that Rayton’s alleged illegal activity occurred after she left her job on Nov. 2, 2016.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conduct a formal and independent investigation involving matters related to the Marijuana Enforcement Division,” said Lynn Granger, communications director for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees MED.

Rayton was charged with violation of state licensing authority and conspiracy to commit the cultivation of more than 30 plants of marijuana. She was released after posting a $5,000 bond, court records show.

Pack was charged with 11 counts, all felonies: Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA; two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana; conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants; two counts of securities fraud; money laundering; forgery; tax evasion; and attempt to influence a public official. A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million, court records show.

Pack’s companies were charged with: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana; cultivation of 30-plus marijuana plants; and two counts of securities fraud.

Bridle and Loos, who investigators alleged illegally cultivated marijuana for sale out of state, also served as middlemen in the shipments and payments, the indictment claimed.

Loos was charged with two counts: conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to court records. Bridle was charged with conspiracy to distribute, distribution of 50 pounds or more of marijuana, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bond for each was set at $250,000 and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

‘A front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization’

Pack and Saenz were 50-50 partners in Harmony & Green LLC, an asset holding company and licensing business; Pack created HGCO to obtain marijuana licenses, according to allegations in the June 7 indictment. During the course of two years, Pack obtained 14 marijuana licenses for the firm, but he kept Saenz’s identity as an owner cloaked from the state.

Pack never disclosed to the state that his business partner was a man who was barred from obtaining a marijuana license nor that there were investments made from out of state or country, investigators allege.

Harmony & Green’s scheme involved soliciting investors for money to build out warehouses that had been leased or bought by Pack’s father, Michael Pack. The younger Pack and Saenz deceived investors, saying they had invested millions of their own money when they had not, and they misrepresented a $678,000 annual revenue stream that did not legally exist, according to the indictment.

Under the guise of a licensed Colorado cannabis business, Harmony & Green and HGCO served as a front for the drug-trafficking organization, investigators claim, noting that the businesses never made a single legal sale of cannabis in their two years of operation.

Pack and Saenz reeled in $1 million during 2016 from the illegal distribution of marijuana, investigators allege.

“All of this was done under Scott Pack and Rudy Saenz’s scheme of using HGCO LLC as a shell company, which essentially provided licenses that Harmony & Green LLC could never hold,” investigators alleged. “Harmony & Green LLC then scammed unknowing individuals into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company, which never once sold legal marijuana in the state of Colorado, but provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization.”

Eight of the 16 people indicted held active or expired licenses for operating a marijuana business in Colorado, The Denver Post reported in March.

The story has garnered national attention, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited The Denver Post in a recent letter to Congress framing his opposition to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prevents Justice Department funds from being used for prosecutions in states with medical marijuana laws. The letter dated May 1, 2017, was published Monday by MassRoots, a marijuana social media company.

“Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote. “In particular, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a place for themselves within state regulatory systems.”

This story is developing and will be updated

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Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:44:01 +0000

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Colorado marijuana sales in April 2017 top $125 million

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Colorado marijuana sales in April 2017 top $125 million

Colorado marijuana sales in April 2017 top $125 million

Colorado’s marijuana industry notched its 11th consecutive $100 million month in April.

But the month in which cannabis enthusiasts celebrate the “high holiday” of 4/20 fell short of setting a monthly high for the state.

The state’s pot shops raked in $125.2 million in medical and recreational marijuana sales of flower, edibles and concentrates during April, The Cannabist calculated by extrapolating Colorado marijuana taxes and fees data.

Recreational marijuana sales totaled nearly $88.4 million while medical marijuana sales approached $36.9 million, according to The Cannabist’s calculations.

Through April, the industry brought in close to $492 million, a nearly 27 percent increase from the $388 million in sales during the first four months of 2016, The Cannabist’s archived data shows.

The year-to-date 2017 sales have resulted in more than $76.3 million in taxes and fees revenue for the state, according to Colorado Department of Revenue data.

Colorado’s marijuana industry has been in growth mode since 2014, when the state became the first in America to legalize and regulated adult-use cannabis sales. The new industry has set and surpassed benchmarks along the way.

Last year, a new monthly high was set four times. That was topped yet again in March 2017, which boasted sales of $131.7 million.

Economists and analysts have told The Cannabist they expect Colorado’s marijuana industry to top out at some point — especially likely after recreational marijuana programs in other states come online. But observers such as Andrew Livingston, director of economists for cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Colorado’s marijuana industry wasn’t done setting monthly records.

“The year-over-year rates of growth have continued at a steady pace, which to me indicates that we have not yet reached the point at which we are starting to cap out the market,” he said following the release of the March 2017 numbers.

The monthly sales numbers do potentially have some room for error. The state, in its monthly tax revenue reports, cautions that monthly collections could include late filings and those submitted for corrections from previous months.

This story is developing and will be updated.





Sales stats for Colorado weed
A month-by-month look comparing sales of recreational and medical marijuana, as calculated by The Cannabist:
2017 Recreational total (4 months)
$345,935,028
2017 Medical total (4 months)
$146,029,597
2017: $491,964,626
2016 Recreational total (12 months)
$875,277,360
2016 Medical total (12 months)
$437,879,186
2016: $1,313,156,545



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Published at Fri, 09 Jun 2017 23:01:45 +0000

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Fed appeals court quashes bids to unravel Colorado marijuana laws, but door still open for RICO suits

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Fed appeals court quashes bids to unravel Colorado marijuana laws, but door still open for RICO suits

Fed appeals court quashes bids to unravel Colorado marijuana laws, but door still open for RICO suits

A three-judge panel for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Wednesday largely upheld lower courts’ dismissals of several cases seeking to overturn major parts of Colorado’s marijuana laws, including efforts by two neighboring states.

The appeals court panel did, however, reverse a district court decision against a Pueblo-area ranch that sued a neighboring cultivation facility, claiming noxious odors and diminished property values. In remanding that case to district court, the judges left the door open for something that legal experts and case attorneys say could rattle the legal marijuana industry: that private-property owners could potentially bring federal racketeering claims against neighboring marijuana grows and dispensaries.

“This is basically a road map for people who own property that is near (a marijuana facility) … for how to bring a federal suit to get relief,” said Brian W. Barnes, an attorney for plaintiff Safe Streets Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-drug and anti-crime organization that took up the cause of Michael P. Reilly and Phillis Windy Hope Reilly, the owners of the Pueblo ranch.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, frequently implemented in cases to combat organized crime and white-collar crime, also allows for private individuals to sue “racketeers” who allegedly damage a business or property.

The judges ruled that private landowners, law enforcement officers and neighboring states that claimed harm from cannabis legalization cannot use the federal Controlled Substances Act to challenge Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana regime. The judges also closed the door on Nebraska and Oklahoma’s pushes to intervene in the case after their similarly directed complaints to the U.S. Supreme Court were denied a hearing.

Despite the ruling against private citizens claiming there is federal preemption of state law, Barnes called Wednesday’s decision a “huge victory” for his clients as well as people opposed to the marijuana industry in Colorado. If successful in district court, his clients could be eligible to receive up to three times the claimed financial damages, have attorneys’ fees reimbursed, and have the court shut down the offending operation, he said.

In their 90-page opinion, the judges did appear to express caution and set boundaries on any potential future claims, stating:

We are not suggesting that every private citizen purportedly aggrieved by another person, a group, or an enterprise that is manufacturing, distributing, selling, or using marijuana may pursue a claim under RICO. Nor are we implying that every person tangentially injured in his business or property by such activities has a viable RICO claim. Rather, we hold only that the Reillys alleged sufficient facts to plausibly establish the requisite elements of their claims against the Marijuana Growers here. The Reillys therefore must be permitted to attempt to prove their RICO claims.

Even with that bit of couching, the court’s ruling could provide an opening for neighbors to sue for damages and seek financial relief, said Christopher Jackson, a Denver-based attorney for the Sherman & Howard firm who is not a party to the case.

“The court is limiting its application, but I still think that you’re going to see a ton more lawsuits citing this case,” he said.

Matthew W. Buck, an attorney representing the marijuana growers sued by the ranch, said via email that the Reillys “will have a difficult time proving that marijuana diminished their property value, or any property in Colorado,” claiming that the presence of the facility has increased surrounding property values. Buck also argued that the Reillys’ land is agricultural, and thus smells like agricultural processes, adding that “my clients did not complain when odors of manure wafted onto their delicious marijuana crop.”

“We will vigorously fight this case should the Reillys … choose to pursue it in the District of Colorado,” Buck wrote. “We found the claims not meritorious initially, the District Court agreed, and it will be up to a jury of Colorado voters to see whether they think D.C. special interest groups should meddle in Colorado citizens’ right to self-govern.”

The appeals raised four principal disputes that stemmed from the conflict between Colorado’s allowance of recreational marijuana and the federal Controlled Substances Act, which holds that marijuana possession, manufacturing, sale and cultivation are illegal, the judges wrote in the filing.

The judges didn’t rule on whether the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause would indeed preempt Colorado’s marijuana laws and other state-enacted legal cannabis statues, but rather that private citizens in this case didn’t have the appropriate standing to raise those claims, Jackson said.

“I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see a federal court striking down Amendment 64 in its entirety,” Jackson said, referencing Colorado’s voter-approved 2012 measure legalizing and regulating adult-use marijuana. “I don’t think there’s any kind of a procedural vehicle to do that anymore.”

Safe Streets’ Barnes countered that this ruling wouldn’t necessarily stop the U.S. Department of Justice from bringing a preemption suit against Colorado, especially considering the new administration in Washington, D.C.

“Whether or not a private plaintiff can sue on a preemption hearing, it doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t going to be preemption lawsuits in the future,” he said.

The biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s ruling is that local and county governments are protected, said Tom Downey, a former state business licensing regulator who now is an attorney specializing in legal cannabis issues with Denver’s Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, P.C.

“When I was the regulator in Denver, I worried about signing marijuana licenses,” Downey said via email. “These RICO suits have been a big concern for small, local jurisdictions particularly. You’ll hear a collective sigh of relief from counties and municipalities with this opinion, as well as from Colorado and other state governments.”

Colorado Marijuana Lawsuit – 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

Colorado Marijuana Lawsuit – 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (Text)

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Published at Wed, 07 Jun 2017 22:09:02 +0000

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Supreme Court limits government seizure of assets in drug conspiracy cases

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Supreme Court limits government seizure of assets in drug conspiracy cases

Supreme Court limits government seizure of assets in drug conspiracy cases

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is placing new limits on the government’s ability to seize assets from people who are convicted of drug crimes but receive little of the illegal proceeds.

The unanimous ruling on Monday comes as the Justice Department has moved to impose harsher punishments for drug trafficking and related crimes, reversing Obama-era policies.

The case involved a Tennessee man convicted for his role selling iodine water purification filters to methamphetamine makers. Terry Honeycutt helped sell more than 20,000 filters at his brother’s hardware store and prosecutors said both brothers knew the iodine was used by local meth cooks.

Honeycutt’s brother pleaded guilty and forfeited $200,000 of the $270,000 in profits. The government tried to get the remaining $70,000 from Honeycutt, but he argued that he wasn’t responsible for it since he didn’t personally see any profits from the scheme.

A federal appeals court ruled against Honeycutt, agreeing with prosecutors that each brother bore the full responsibility for the entire amount.

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her opinion for the high court that forfeiture laws are “limited to property the defendant himself actually acquired as the result of the crime.”

She cited as an example a case in which a marijuana farmer masterminds a scheme to sell pot on college campuses and recruits a college student to deliver the packages for $300 a month. In her example, the farmer might earn $3 million in a year, while the student earns $3,600. She said under the government’s theory, the student could face a forfeiture judgment for the entire conspiracy amount of $3 million.

“Congress did not authorize the government to confiscate substitute property from other defendants or coconspirators,” Sotomayor said. “It authorized the government to confiscate assets only from the defendant who initially acquired the property and who bears responsibility for its dissipation.”

The ruling is the latest effort by the high court to limit perceived overreaching by federal prosecutors, said John Marti, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“In short, federal criminal statutes and forfeiture statutes are not blank checks for prosecutors,” Marti said.

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Published at Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:44:52 +0000

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DEA: Gang that sold millions worth of Colorado-grown weed outside state not unusual

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DEA: Gang that sold millions worth of Colorado-grown weed outside state not unusual

DEA: Gang that sold millions worth of Colorado-grown weed outside state not unusual

Michael Stonehouse planned to build a close-knit community whose members would hold prayer meetings once a week — presumably when they weren’t growing and packaging hundreds of pounds of pot each month.

But the kumbaya dream ended in the arrest of Stonehouse, 53, and 15 others on March 16.

The Stonehouse operation was selling millions of dollars worth of pot across state lines, reaping profits higher than they could hope to earn doing legitimate business in Colorado, investigators say.

The operation wasn’t that unusual in Colorado, where law breakers are hiding in plain sight as they grow high-quality pot and ship it to states where weed remains illegal.

In 2015, the Colorado State Patrol made 394 seizures of Colorado pot that was destined for 36 different states, according to a 2016 report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which tracks the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

“They get appropriate paperwork, but they are going to grow as much as they can and all of the excess is going out of state,” Denver Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman James Gothe said.

Colorado’s legal marijuana businesses follow a dense thicket of regulations designed to shut out black-market sales. Growing facilities, dispensaries and retail shops all require separate licenses and tight record keeping.

Marijuana plants must be tracked digitally from seed to sale, and tags using radio frequency identification technology must be attached to all viable plants over 8 inches tall, said Robert Goulding, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. “Any time it moves, is sold, destroyed or weighed, that information is updated in an inventory trafficking system.”

Documents related to the Stonehouse arrests allege that the group had some of the necessary documentation, but were brazenly violating the law.

The ring was growing, packaging, and distributing, marijuana from locations in Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and El Paso counties.

One 39,000-square-foot warehouse in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood was licensed to grow plants, according to the documents. Half of 1,000 plants growing there were RFID tagged, but there was no record that any of the weed harvested at the site was legally sold or distributed.

“The warehouse on East 37th Street in Denver had been inspected by the state in an effort to appear to be in compliance with state laws, but we’re not aware of any other locations that had been inspected,” said Paul Roach, supervisor of the DEA’s financial investigations team in Denver.

Eight of those indicted are listed in Colorado records as having active or expired licenses to work in the legal pot business. But Stonehouse, the group’s leader, wasn’t licensed to own any marijuana business in the state, Goulding said.

In reality, none of the plants Stonehouse grew were legal, Roach said.

“The Stonehouse organization had many licenses,” he said, “but that was likely just to present the appearance of compliance with Colorado law.”

The investigation began in August, when Elbert County deputies and building inspectors asked 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office investigators attached to a DEA drug task force to take a look at a marijuana grow in Elizabeth.

On Aug. 25, investigators went to the equine property on County Road 13, called the “farm” by the Stonehouse ring, and found eight dome-shaped tents covered with heavy plastic and packed with marijuana plants.

Building inspectors had previously told Stonehouse that the first of the makeshift greenhouses he had erected at the property was in violation of building codes. By Aug. 25, he had built seven more hoop houses, each one 100-yards long, and 20-yards wide.

“Each greenhouse had tomato plants situated just inside and across the opening of the structure as if to disguise the grow as a tomato cultivation site,” according to the documents.

Stonehouse provided copies of medical marijuana patient registrations and physician recommendations for some of the pot.

On Sept. 26, an Elbert County SWAT team, and DEA task force officers raided the property and seized marijuana valued at $5 million.

Two days later, an agent met with a confidential source who had participated in arranging sales and transport of Stonehouse’s marijuana across state lines.

The seizure kicked off a months-long investigation during which local law enforcement — from Colorado Springs to Denver — worked with the DEA and federal prosecutors on the case.

The Stonehouse operation was homegrown, but there are similar operations scattered throughout the state, some headed by people who came to Colorado from other states where they were illegally growing and selling weed, Roach said.

“They just pick up shop and set up here because it’s legal. They don’t do the growing where they are from, but they keep the distribution network the same,” Roach said.

The most common destinations identified by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area report were Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Iowa and Florida.

Mexican pot, once in high demand, has taken a backseat to that grown in Colorado, Roach said. The state’s indoor grows offer superior conditions for cultivation, and “produce a higher quality.”

The Stonehouse group’s wheeling and dealing included a money laundering operation that ran illegal cash through shell businesses and a legitimate food truck, Dos Locos Mexican Food, Roach said.

Stonehouse also told the confidential source that he kept Kuwaiti money that he used to buy property and equipment for the operation, according to the documents.

Piles of money changed hands. Roach said that in some markets outside the state, Stonehouse was able to get $3,500 for a pound of weed, that would bring between $1,500 and $2,000 on Colorado’s legal market.

He neither reported nor paid taxes associated with cultivating, or distributing, pot.

Stonehouse told the confidential source:

  • That Vincent Castillo, 34, one of the mules who drove weed and cash to and from drops throughout the country, was making $40,000 a month.
  • Stonehouse could move up to 400 pounds per-week of “the right stuff.”
  • In a statement suggesting that he had an eye on markets where he didn’t deal, he said that he had heard buyers paid $4,500 per pound in New York City and Atlanta.
  • Between January 2014, and December, Stonehouse deposited more than $1 million in cash into accounts he controlled in the name of a variety of shell businesses.

Stonehouse told the source that he learned how to grow marijuana by watching YouTube videos and started the business with a $20,000 investment. The monthly cost of running an operation, which included making and selling hash oil, was $220,000.

Hash oil, a form of concentrated THC, is extracted from marijuana trimmings using highly flammable, liquid butane, and its manufacture has resulted in numerous explosions.

The ring made the hash oil on the second floor of a riding barn on the Elizabeth property. Stonehouse was aware of the danger, telling the confidential source that butane could explode “like a big bomb.”

The source responded that the man making hash oil in the barn, “shouldn’t light up a bowl right by it.”

Stonehouse replied that he would tell the man wait until he was done with work to get high.

Calls that law enforcement intercepted between Stonehouse and others suggest that he either enjoyed talking tough, or wouldn’t flinch at violence.

In one call, he “said he is going to employ a sniper on the ranch, and if (law enforcement) showed up like they did last time, that he would have people stand on the side of the fence with M-16s.”

In another, he said “he wanted to make sure he wasn’t the only one unloading a clip while everybody else ran.”

In that same phone call, he said that after he and other members of the ring discussed the possibility of gun play, “they had a nice prayer session.”

Rudy Saenz, 62, Stonehouse’s partner, told the informant that “he and Stonehouse need to operate illegally to afford the expenses with the hope of operating a legal marijuana company,” in the future.

But Roach said a desire to build a legal business was little more than a pipe dream. “There was not any indication they were going to go straight.”

Stonehouse is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Fridayat the Arapahoe County Justice Center.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:49:55 +0000

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PUF Signs Joint Venture Agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation

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PUF Signs Joint Venture Agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation

PUF Signs Joint Venture Agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation

VANCOUVER, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ – PUF Ventures Inc. (“PUF” or the “Company”) (CSE: PUF) (Frankfurt: PU3) (OTCPK: PUFXF), an advanced Stage 5 Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (“ACMPR”) license applicant, has signed an exclusive joint venture agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) (Canopy Growth) and joined CraftGrow, a collection of high quality cannabis grown by a select and diverse set of producers, made available through Tweedmainstreet.com.

PUF is only the fourth company to be selected by Canopy for their exclusive CraftGrow program.

“Our partnership with Canopy Growth accelerates the timeline for PUF to be an actual cannabis producer selling its product to the medical market place under the ACMPR,” said Derek Ivany, President and CEO of the Company. “Gaining access to Canopy’s marketing and distribution network will allow PUF to generate revenue much sooner and at a significantly lower infrastructure cost than PUF moving forward on an independent basis. We will avoid significant market acquisition costs and have access to an extensive customer list with refined tastes. We believe our unique strains of cannabis will be popular in the CraftGrow product line, and look forward to working closely with the Tweed team to get our products to market.”

Canopy Growth introduced CraftGrow through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tweed with the goal of bringing select strains of high quality cannabis grown by a diverse set of producers to Tweed’s registered customers. The CraftGrow program showcases the history, brand, and unique growing methods of each unique producer.

By joining CraftGrow, PUF’s own master grower will have the opportunity to work with Canopy’s team to share expertise, technology, and best growing practices to maximize yield and ensure high quality product lines. PUF will also be able to source strains and lineage directly from Tweed’s own breeding facility to add to its product line.

CraftGrow also provides PUF with immediate access to Canopy Growth’s extensive operational infrastructure. CraftGrow supports select producers like PUF, by taking care of the marketing and distribution of medical cannabis through Tweed Main Street online marketplace. With award winning customer service and call centres, Tweed offers patients assistance to choose strains from a select group of producers. It also has an established fulfillment centre that can ship thousands of orders each day to customers all across the country.

The joint venture partnership with Canopy Growth will significantly reduce the resources that PUF will need to enter the market and establish its brand. PUF gains access to Canopy Growth’s client list, which allows it to get its product to market much faster to the benefit of medical cannabis patients. The partnership calls for CraftGrow to receive PUF’s harvests for sale through Tweed Main Street as specific whole-flower strains or as oil. It also provides PUF the opportunity to pursue its own customers including potential exports to international markets.  “It is a great honour and opportunity to join Canopy Growth’s CraftGrow product line,” continued Mr. Ivany. “With Canopy Growth as a partner, we will work towards their exacting standards as we look to Health Canada for notification of the next steps with our ACMPR application.”

About PUF Ventures Inc.

PUF Ventures Inc. owns a majority interest in AAA Heidelberg, a private Ontario company that is in stage 5 of 7 in its application for an ACMPR license from Health Canada.  PUF has an option to acquire the balance of the share to own 100% of AAA Heidelberg upon receipt of the ACMPR license. While it cannot guarantee nor estimate the timing of the issuance of a license to AAA Heidelberg, it is management’s goal to become a leading supplier of medical marijuana in Canada and this partnership with Canopy clearly shows that PUF is progressing.

VapeTronix, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, is in the process of developing Weedbeacon, and expanding its 1313 brand of electronic cigarettes, Marijuana Vape delivery devices and associated technologies.  For more information visit: www.puf.ca.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Derek Ivany,
President & CEO

No stock exchange or securities regulatory authority has reviewed or accepted responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Some of the statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements, such as estimates and statements that describe the Company’s future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties.

SOURCE PUF Ventures

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Published at Thu, 01 Jun 2017 19:13:46 +0000

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