A former compliance officer for a New Jersey cannabis business is suing his former employer claiming he was demoted because he is Black, according to an NJ.com report. Shelby Brown, who served as a compliance officer for MPX NJ, filed the lawsuit last week against iAnthus in Superior Court in Monmouth County.
Matthew Sheppe, an attorney with Reiss Sheppe LLP, who is representing Brown, said in a statement that his client believes that “iAnthus’s actions created working conditions so intolerable” that Brown was “compelled to resign, as any reasonable person in his position would have done.”
“I’m a disabled veteran. There was a lot of stress, a lot of exacerbation of my service-related conditions. I had to go, I just couldn’t take it anymore. … I am a highly experienced, highly educated individual, but the issue is that I’m Black. I just need people to see that this is happening in 2021.” – Brown to NJ.com
Brown was named MPX’s national compliance director in 2018 and when iAnthus took over MPX’s operations in 2018, Brown was required to interview for his job, while the white compliance officers were not required to do the same, the lawsuit contends. Brown alleges that iAnthus demoted him to a regional compliance officer role and promoted a white man to take over the national job, the report says. Moreover, Brown said that budget or personnel requests he submitted went ignored, but such requests submitted by white compliance officers were approved and that he was left to do the jobs of several people and duties that fell outside of his job description, the report says.
NJ.com first reported on Brown’s claims in July. At that time, iAnthus CEO Randy Maslow called the claims “inaccurate, deliberately false and frankly defamatory.”
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe