Multi-State Cannabis Operator Ascend Wellness Holdings Expands to Maryland with Acquisition of Four Dispensaries

1.2 min readPublished On: May 1st, 2023By

LOS ANGELES– Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced on Monday that she has terminated her consulting deal with a cannabis company, Veriede Holdings LLC, after the arrangement was discovered during an audit of the state’s cannabis industry. Fagan admitted to exercising poor judgment by contracting with the company, which is owned by her political donors and is regulated by an agency under her Audits Division’s jurisdiction. Although Fagan defended her actions as being within the bounds of state law and ethics rules, both Democrats and Republicans criticized her for the apparent conflict of interest.

Fagan faced calls for resignation from Republicans and criticism from fellow Democrat Gov. Tina Kotek after news broke that she had taken paid work with Veriede Holdings, which is affiliated with the La Mota retail chain. Fagan expressed regret for breaking voters’ trust and released her contract with Veriede Holdings, revealing that she was being paid $10,000 with a potential bonus of $35,000 if the company secured any cannabis business permits outside of Oregon and New Mexico.

The revelation of Fagan’s consulting work coincided with the release of a statewide audit of Oregon’s cannabis industry, which recommended that regulators pivot and prepare for interstate commerce and a national competitive cannabis market. The audit also found that the costly regulations put in place in 2014 are outdated and now pose barriers to the competitiveness of Oregon cannabis companies. The audit authors suggested that policymakers consider rewriting industry rules and implementing business incentives to support growth.

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Newsteam at Highly Capitalized are some of the most experienced writers in cannabis and psychedelics business & finance. We cover capital markets, finance, branding, marketing and everything important in between. Most of all, we follow the money.

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