Colorado businessman and author Jeffrey Friedland has been issued a $4.1 million fine for allegedly misleading investors about Israeli cannabis company OWC Pharmaceutical Research
Jeffrey Friedland, who authored “Marijuana: The World’s Most Understood Plant,” is accused of taking kickbacks from OWC in exchange for promoting the stock during conference appearances and in online videos from 2016 to 2017 – during which the price of the stock jumped from one cent to as high as $2.20 a share and gave OWC a $300 million market value. Today, the stock has collapsed 99 percent and is back down to a penny.
The SEC says Friedland, as Global Corporate Strategies LLC, received 5.1 million shares of the company – about 6.3 percent of the stock – in exchange for promoting it.
Melissa Hodgman, associate director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said that securities laws require retail investors to list all “the facts about promoters’ relationships with the companies they tout.”