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City Officials Mum on How They Would Replace MedMen in Cannabis Process

Published on Thursday, July 2, 2020 | 2:24 pm

City officials would not tell Pasadena Now how they would proceed in the cannabis process if MedMen is disqualified due to turnover in the company that had resulted in a change of control.

Officials in the company interviewed by the city as part of the selection process must remain with the company as the company wends its way through the city’s process.

Pasadena Now first reported on July 1 that at least seven people with MedMen, which applied to sell cannabis in Pasadena as MME Retail, have left the company since the city’s application process began.

Officials with the dispensary did not return phone calls on Thursday.

“It would not be appropriate to discuss or make decisions on what might happen if a company were eliminated,” said Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian. “All applicants are entitled to fairness in this process.”

According to a July 1 letter signed by Assistant City Manager Nicholas Rodriguez and obtained by Pasadena Now, the city has determined that material control of the company has changed due to turnover within the organization.

The company has 10 days to prove it remains under the control of the people listed on its application.

If the City Manager finds there was a change of control, MedMen shall lose the right to proceed through the cannabis permitting process and its application will be rejected.

That decision would be final.

MedMen does not have a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and was last scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in April, but that meeting was canceled after city officials began investigating claims regarding the layoffs, failed transactions and financial condition within the organization.

If MedMen is removed it could leave other cannabis companies salivating. A Conditional Use Permit could be worth millions of dollars.

MedMen planned to do business, 536 S. Fair Oaks Ave. near Huntington Hospital, and less than 300 feet away from a substance abuse drug recovery center. That would violate the city’s ordinance requiring dispensaries to be at least 600 feet away from schools, recovery centers and churches.

Five companies were chosen to advance in the city’s process, two of those companies Atrium and SweetFlower have been denied Conditional Use Permits.

Earlier this week SweetFlower CEO Tim Dodd made allegations against MedMen and Intgral saying both companies had gone through changes that should diqualify them from the city’s process.

On June 5, 2019, the same day that the City announced the initial selection results of the cannabis screening application process, Green Thumb Industries Inc. (“GTI”), completed a $290 acquisition of Integral.

City officials did not mention Integral when discussing MedMen on Wednesday, but a local official with the company said.

“Integral will not provide comments to the issues raised in this letter as they relate to currently pending litigation,” said Richard McDonald.

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