Updated lawsuit from marijuana businesses that did not win licenses accuses state of ‘rampant illegality and corruption’


A group of cannabis businesses that did not win marijuana dispensary permits in the most recent round of state licensing have filed an amended lawsuit, alleging corruption in the state agency that regulates the business.

The complaint — filed Friday in district court in Clark County as an amendment to a lawsuit initially lodged in January — also names a extended list of marijuana businesses that did and didn’t obtain dispensary licenses. It reiterates lots of of the points created against the state in a lengthy hearing this summer season, and adds pointed accusations of leaders at the Nevada Division of Taxation, such as top rated marijuana plan executive Jorge Pupo.

The division and associated entities “are now engaging in a cover-up of the rampant illegality and corruption that infected the license application method for the recreational Dispensaries,” the complaint says.

A division spokeswoman did not instantly respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon on the allegations. Plaintiffs are representatives of The Apothecary Shoppe, NuVeda and Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary.

Amongst the allegations, the complaint mentioned that Pupo testified he was presented jobs by marijuana business executives, such as applicants that won dispensary licenses. It says Pupo testified that he was approached by — amongst other folks — Armen Yemenidjian, who had a stake in Essence dispensaries, which won several licenses in the most recent round.

For the duration of questioning in court in June, Pupo testified that many marijuana enterprise affiliates told him they really should contact if he leaves the state job.

“To me they’re not truly provides,” Pupo mentioned in testimony June 20, according to a court transcript. “They’re just, like, Hey, if you leave, you know come see me, we could use you, form factor.”

The complaint frames it differently.

“In addition to getting an ethics violation, supplying any ‘compensation, gratuity or reward to any executive or administrative officer . . . with the intent to influence the officer with respect to any act, choice, vote, opinion or other proceeding, as such officer’ is a felony in the State of Nevada,” the complaint says.

The complaint also emphasizes points from a current ruling in this summer’s court case about the closeness of some applicants to state staff.

“Licensees who chose to socialize with Mr. Pupo received favorable remedy in exchange,” the complaint says. “Mr. Pupo permitted favored licensees to contact him on his individual cell telephone quantity and offered them with more instruction with regards to the application method (by e mail, telephone, or in individual).”

Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, in a ruling granting a partial injunction on the state’s final approval of specific licenses, wrote that individual relationships played a part in the licensing method.

“The method was impacted by individual relationships in choices associated to the specifications of the application,” she mentioned, while “this in and of itself is insufficient to void the method.”

The 106-web page complaint also alleges that the division did not adequately preserve public records, did not completely clarify its scoring choices and improperly denied a public records request for the agency’s visitor logs.

Plaintiffs want the scoring to be accomplished all more than once more, and are looking for a court order stopping the state from recognizing any of the conditional dispensary licenses it issued final December.

NV tax division lawsuit by Riley Snyder on Scribd


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