MedMen Withdraws Allegations that Ascend Influenced New York Politicians

MedMen has moved to withdraw its lawsuit alleging that Ascend Wellness improperly influenced New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to approve a takeover deal between the two companies.

Full story after the jump.

Lawyers for Ascend Wellness Holdings said that its legal rival MedMen has moved to withdraw its allegations that Ascend executives put political pressure on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) administration to approve the transfer of MedMen’s medical cannabis license to Ascend, amNY reports. Ascend, a cannabis operator hoping to set up operations in New York which purchased MedMen’s New York operations for $73 million, filed a lawsuit in state court last month against MedMen, a multi-state cannabis company, that claimed the defendant had not fulfilled that contract.

MedMen had filed a counterclaim accusing Ascend of pressuring Hochul’s administration and claimed Ascend executives had met with state officials and donated money to the governor’s campaign in an effort to get the deal done; Ascend has denied those allegations and last week provided evidence supporting that position, the report says.

Mylan Denerstein, a lawyer representing Ascend, told amNY that counsel for MedMen has agreed to withdraw that allegation.

“Like any house of cards, MedMen’s claims collapsed when exposed to the slightest scrutiny. Ascend will continue to correct the record and looks forward to entering New York’s cannabis market once its rights are vindicated in court.” Denerstein in a statement via amNY

Ascend submitted to the court logs and a hotel receipt that show Ascend’s president Andrew Brown providing legal counsel and staying at a hotel in Albany on the day that MedMen accused him of attending the Manhattan fundraiser for Hochul and submitted a receipt that showed CEO Abner Kurtin to be in Florida the day of an alleged meeting with the governor’s secretary.

MedMen did not comment on the withdrawal of the allegations.

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