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Assault charge could tarnish image of Ascend, entire cannabis industry, consultants warn

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If Abner Kurtin, founder, CEO and chair of cannabis multistate operator Ascend Wellness Holdings. is known for anything, it’s being outspoken.

In January, after MedMen Enterprises failed to close Ascend’s acquisition of its New York license, prompting a lawsuit, Kurtin posted a series of tweets taking aim at the Los Angeles-based company.

“As New York and other states adopt adult-use cannabis, MedMen’s actions send the worst message – namely, that certain cannabis companies cannot be trusted to keep their word,” Kurtin wrote on Jan. 3.

“MedMen has chosen to disregard the authority of New York regulators.”

In March, he called MedMen management “criminals,” telling Business Insider that “this is an attempt to extort Ascend for a higher price. They want to make a buck.”

A MedMen lawyer said, “… we won’t be responding to nonsense,” according to Business Insider.

Just recently, after the companies agreed to settle on $88 million for the sale, New York-headquartered Ascend walked away from the deal.

Kurtin also has been an outspoken social justice advocate, with Ascend having donated more than $1 million to Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit that works to support people convicted of marijuana crimes.

On his LinkedIn profile, Kurtin describes himself as a “Libertarian on a quest to end mass incarceration of non-violent criminals.”

But the Ascend exec has been quiet since being charged with battery earlier this month after a witness in Miami reported a physical altercation allegedly involving Kurtin and his girlfriend.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Kate Robertson on MJBiz Daily

Published: September 21, 2022

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