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CannaBiz: Denver's major MMJ lawsuit 

Joint litigation

The case of Volume Public Relations, LLC vs. Greenway University, Inc., filed in February in Denver County District Court, is a standard collections action. Marijuana-growing-school Greenway is accused of shorting Volume PR — or, more specifically, the company's medical marijuana arm, Grow Room Communications — some $131,000.

What's interesting is that this might be the first case of major MMJ support players conflicting with each other, right down to their attorneys. Jessica Corry, who is representing Volume PR, is a major industry voice in Denver; the same could be said of Greenway's representation, Charles Houghton, in Colorado Springs.

"As far as Charles, our firms were co-counsel on the El Paso [County] case," says Corry, referencing the failed attempt last year to remove an MMJ ban question from the November election ballot. "And, you know, that's what happens when you have firms that specialize in commercial litigation, but also understand the unique aspects of this industry.

"We operate in a small world, and we have a lot of respect for [Charles], and we'd work with him again tomorrow in a heartbeat."

While Houghton failed to return three phone calls and an e-mail, he did tell Westword that his clients "don't believe they owe anything."

Outside of the financials of the case, which is scheduled for trial in March 2012 but will likely see prior settlement, Corry notices something else.

"This is a new industry, and a year or two ago, it was a movement," she says. "And so a lot of the people who operate within this industry now aren't acclimated to the accountability demanded of a more traditional corporate environment. And when you sign a contract, and you tell somebody you're going to pay them to do something, you need to pay 'em."

All together now

Citing "the unfair treatment of Colorado medical marijuana growers, dispensary owners and patients," Integrated Caregiver Services' Lewis Johnson (310-6506) is forming a protection-minded "co-op."

Johnson didn't cite whose action was particularly unfair, but he's sure what he wants to accomplish.

"The co-op will have legal representation — constitutional, corporate, criminal and medical marijuana," Johnson writes in an e-mail. "We will have an accounting firm to look at your books, if needed, and valuation of your current business to see what it is worth. We will have political advocate[s] that will help us to get new issues on the ballot, and re-open closed issues."

If interested in assisting, attend weekly planning meetings at 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays at the French Dip (3125 Sinton Road).

  • Also: Centers finding strength in a new co-op.

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