In a letter to lawmakers, the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon asked that a bill currently being considered by the House be amended to prevent La Mota – the cannabis company that had hired former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan as a consultant – from continuing its expansion in the state, according to a Willamette Week report outlining the letter.
In the letter, the organization said that “Companies that display a flagrant disregard for state laws and fair business practices have no place in Oregon’s cannabis industry” and calls out La Mota for allegedly owing cannabis companies throughout the state more than $1.5 million for product for which they are facing lawsuits.
“The owners of La Mota have funded and accomplished their expansion by remaining in significant arrears with the Oregon Department of Revenue and [Internal Revenue Service], by refusing to pay vendors for products sold in their stores, and by taking advantage of the OLCC’s unmetered issuance of licenses.”— Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon, in the letter, via Willamette Week
La Mota is not a member of the Alliance but is a member of the Oregon Cannabis Association, which did not sign the letter to lawmakers.
The Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon suggests that House Bill 2515, which is currently being considered by the House Committee on Rules, should include “language that restricts the [Oregon Liquor and Control Commission] from renewing or issuing licenses to businesses that refuse to remain in reasonable good faith with the Oregon Department of Revenue” and provisions to “ensure vendors are paid for cannabis sold at retail stores.”
“It’s imperative, as integral as this industry is to our state, that Oregon cannabis businesses pay their taxes, meet their obligations to vendors,” the association wrote in the letter, “and never again attempt to use ill-gotten funds to push personal political agendas.”
La Mota had donated to the political campaign of Fagan before hiring her as a consultant. On Monday, Fagan quit that gig and then resigned as secretary of state the following day.
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