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It’s all about the green…

Bracken Data Inc, et al. v. Thomas Guel et al. 1:22-cv-00273 (Northern District of Illinois)

On Monday, January 11, 2022, Bracken Data Inc. and Salzman Group Ltd (“Plaintiffs”) filed a breach of contract case against cannabinoid drug developer Ellie Pharmaceuticals and owner Thomas Guel (“Defendants”). Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Mr. Steven Block of Thompson Hine was kind enough to send me a copy of the complaint for review.

Plaintiff alleges that the parties entered into a contract to develop and compile an initial business plan and an investor pitch deck for Ellie Pharmaceuticals, which Bracken Group completed and delivered to Defendants on November 30, 2020. Plaintiff further was to facilitate the creation and operation of Ellie Pharmaceuticals’ website. Finally, Plaintiffs provided client deliverables to Ellie Pharmaceuticals on a regular basis communicating the work done and progress made by his team in converting CBD to Δ9‑THC.

Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, they have failed to pay the bill. Plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit.

Too little, too late!

Trahan v. Vivis Corp. 6:22-cv-00152 (Louisiana Western District Court)

Andre Trahan (“Plaintiff”) filed suit against Vivis Corporation, (“Defendant”) a provider of hemp-based CBD products. Robert Doggett of Galloway Jefcoat LLP was kind enough to send me a copy of the complaint.

On or about May 6, 2021, Plaintiff, entered a contract to purchase a Hemp Derived Broad Spectrum Tincture 2500mg product for consumption from Defendant. Defendant, as we have heard before, represented to Plaintiff that the product Plaintiff purchased contained zero THC.

In June of 2021, Plaintiff’s employer subjected him to a random urinalysis drug screen. The results came back positive for THC. The employer terminated Plaintiff’s employment shortly thereafter due to the positive drug test result.

HERE IS WHAT GETS ME ON THIS ONE! After Plaintiff had consumed the product and tested positive for ‘I’I IC on his work-administered drug test, Defendant notified Plaintiff that it had actually changed the 2500mg tincture to a “Full-spectrum” product, without previously warning or notifying Plaintiff of the change.

Its interesting that Plaintiff in this matter is going on a simple breach of contract theory instead of a product liability theory. Wouldn’t their admission of guilt be helpful?

The Single Subject Rule again?

In re Advisory Op. to Attorney Gen., 320 So. 3d 657 (Fla. 2021)

On September 11, 2019, the Attorney General filed a petition with the Florida Court seeking an advisory opinion on the validity of an initiative petition titled “Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol to Establish Age, Licensing, and Other Restrictions.” The Petition was sponsored by Sensible Florida, Inc. The Attorney General wanted to know if the proposed amendment meets the single-subject requirement of the Florida Constitution. Further, the Attorney General wanted guidance to see if the ballot title and summary meet the clarity standards of Florida Statutes section 101.161(1). (2020). The Attorney General filed an opposition brief to the initiative petition. The Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Drug Free America Foundation, the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, and the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance all filed opposing briefs. (WOW. The Politics involved here.)

The court conclude that the language in the ballot summary indicating that the proposed amendment “[r]egulates marijuana … for limited use … by persons twenty-one years of age or older” is affirmatively misleading and fails to comply with Florida State Law. Accordingly, the court concluded that the proposed amendment should not be placed on the ballot.

I believe the dissent opinion got this one right. “This Court has no authority to inject itself in the process [by blocking a proposed amendment from appearing on the ballot], unless the laws governing the process have been ‘clearly and conclusively violated.” 

The tangled web we weave…

Your CBD Stores Franchising, LLC et al v. NaturOil Georgia, LLC et al. 1:22-cv-00286 (Georgia Northern District)

In an incredibly complex case, Your CBD Stores Franchising LLC and Sunflora, Inc.  (“Plaintiffs) seek injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, and costs against NaturOil Georgia, LLC and Jeffrey Yabuki (“Defendants”). Plaintiff claims Defendants engaged in willful trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and false advertising under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051 et seq., Further, Plaintiffs claim unfair competition and unfair trade practice under the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Plaintiffs claim that Defendants breached the franchise agreement between the parties. As a result of the breach, Plaintiffs demanded that Defendants cease and desist from using their trademark, but Defendants have refused to do so.

Federal Legalization Update…

I try not to get into politics in this column, but of course, Congress’ failure to take any action on cannabis reform is frustrating for everyone. For an excellent read on this subject, click on the following link from the National Law Review. It is an excellent read.


For an update on continuing efforts to pass the Safe Banking Act, click the link below. At least someone is trying!

Marijuana Movement


An investment banker decides she needs in-house counsel, so she interviews a young lawyer.

“Mr. Peterson,” she says. “Would you say you’re honest?”

“Honest?” replies Peterson. “Let me tell you something about honesty. My father lent me $85,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I tried my first case.”

“Impressive. And what sort of case was that?”

“Dad sued me for the money.”

Jason Morgan Roberts is an Attorney and Legal Commentator in the Chicagoland Area.  He can be reached at [email protected].  His commentary is not to be considered legal advice.