The Appleton Post-Crescent/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, reports that a review of public disclosures found that Wisconsin state Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp. in 2016, “Wisconsin senator invests in Canadian pot producer, votes for medical marijuana in state.”
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin also reported that in February Lasee joined most state senators in voting to allow the possession of CBD oil. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Walker becoming 2017 Wisconsin Act 4. Lasee joined fellow Republicans in a party line vote rejecting a Democratic-sponsored amendment to allow the production of CBD oil in the state.
Of Canopy Growth, USA TODAY had this to say:
“Lasee’s votes could present a conflict of interest because Canopy Growth produces CBD oil. But the company doesn’t currently operate in Wisconsin or anywhere else in the United States because of federal drug prohibitions, said Canopy Growth spokesman Jordan Sinclair. “It’s just not prudent for us,” Sinclair said. “The risk just isn’t worth the reward.” Sinclair said Canopy Growth produces marijuana products exclusively for medical purposes in Canada, Germany, Chile and Australia. The company is also expanding operations in advance of pledges by Canada’s ruling party to legalize recreational marijuana next year, he said. “Our international ambition continues. We want to operate anywhere where there is a clear federal framework,” Sinclair said.”
Speaking of international expansion, In 2014, Canopy Growth also “invested” in cannabis businesses owned by Oregon cannabis/hemp pioneer Paul Stanford, a friend and annual visitor to Wisconsin.
In February 2017, Angela Bacca published an article, “How Canadian Cannabis Venture Capitalists Stole Millions of Americans’ Private Medical Records,” exposing how Canopy Growth took control of Stanford’s companies that appeared in the Huffington Post and other sources:
“In April 2014, just three months before the signatures would need to be received by the state, the opportunity to fund the 2014 effort presented itself. Canadian venture capitalists interested in Stanford’s clinic business and the lucrative American cannabis industry in general presented Stanford with an offer to fund the signature drive in exchange for agreeing to work together to take his company public. Stanford would be sure to secure 55 percent of the shares of the new partnership for himself, his partner and his employees in an effort to protect his life’s work and their jobs.
Ultimately, money for the initiative did come, but not enough and not in time to secure the needed signatures. A competing measure, Measure 91, made it to the 2014 Oregon ballot and passed, legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.
Despite not making the ballot, the new partnership forged ahead. For the next two years, the team at Orange Capital in Vancouver worked with Stanford to expand his businesses and prepare to take his company public.
In mid 2016, the deal was called off and the Canadians assumed total control of Stanford’s entire company? even procuring a restraining order to bar him from interacting with his own businesses. His family, partner and longtime employees were fired, and of particular importance, a legal battle is now brewing over the clinics’ patient records, which may already be in commercial use in Canada. The Canadians, whose capital is largely generated through oil and gas exploration, are currently suing for full and permanent control of Stanford’s companies and are easily out lawyering him in court. Stanford maintains he was never paid a dime for his company’s assets and instead was continually lied to or kept out of the loop on important business decisions. The groups now controlling his businesses maintain Stanford was an irresponsible businessman, a liability to the business and unfit to lead it. They also claim full paid ownership of the business’s assets.”
Cannabadger has covered how due to a provision in Oregon’s medical cannabis law, medical cannabis patients from outside Oregon could obtain Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cards in a number of articles. Jacki Rickert and myself were the first Wisconsinites to obtain OMMP cards, filing the paperwork in Sept.2010 at the old walk-up window at the State office building in Portland. I went on to get five renewals, but legislation passed after Oregon voters legalized so-called recreational use in 2014 led to the provision allowing out of state access being repealed. Our medical records, along with the other Wisconsin former cardholders are now in the hands of the company that Sen. Lasee invested in.
Cannabadger will be following this story.