CEO takes back her words on illicit operators

Published on September 3, 2020 by David Wylie

A group of licensed cannabis retailers in Canada asked the police to clean illegal stores off Weedmaps, a popular online dispensary listing service.

The online portal shares locations, menus and prices.

Now, one of the company CEOs who signed it is backing off from that stance.

“I sincerely apologize to those who may have been hurt or upset by reading my comments,” said Mimi Lam, the CEO and co-founder of Superette.

Lam said the company supports a sustainable industry that acknowledges, embraces and supports the transition of legacy operators.

She suggested some “select” quotes published on BNN “may have suggested” that she was pitting legacy vs. legal.

“This is not the perspective I represent, now or ever,” she said.

So what exactly did she say?…

Bloomberg mentions their interview with her in the bottom half of the story.

Her company owns several pot stores in Ottawa and Toronto and Lam said she has spent the past several years working within the legal framework to open her stores.

She told BNN she was upset about Weedmaps.

“We’ve had to compete with a very strong illicit market since day one,” Lam was quoted as saying. “Being lumped in the same group as the illicit market is not beneficial for any legal operator.”

The letter itself says Weedmaps lists both illegal and legal stores without distinguishing between the two, causing customer confusion.

It reads in part:

“In view of Weedmaps’ unwillingness to delist illicit market services in Canada and to stop profiting from the proceeds of crimes committed in Canada, we ask that you direct your appropriate investigative units to immediately look into what enforcement action can be taken against Weedmaps’ Canadian operations.”

The reporter who obtained the letter, David George-Cosh, released the signees on Twitter. It includes Vancouver’s Donnelly Group, which owns Dutch Love, formerly known as Hobo.

Even the reporter was surprised by the reaction.

“This turned out to be a very polarizing story within the cannabis industry,” he tweeted. “I don’t think this story is over yet.”

The letter was delivered earlier this week to the RCMP’s Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.

Many retail stores are owned locally, and owners the oz. has spoken to have generally put their life savings on the line to get licensed.