12 July 2016
Here’s the introduction to a story that rings warning bells at every turn..We’d suggest that a new tagline in the vein of “Cannacea is not the panacea” might be suitable
The Oregonian introduce their piece thus…..
The letter from a top Oregon regulator delivered good news: Tisha Siler had won approval of her application for a medical marijuana dispensary license.
Siler, a California pot grower, would be a “valuable asset” to Oregon, the letter gushed.
There was more. The notice offered, in essence, to hand over a total of seven dispensary licenses without bureaucratic hassle, giving Siler a competitive advantage in Oregon’s expanding cannabis trade.
Problem was the October 2014 letter, right down to its official-looking letterhead, was fake.
The letter plays a key role in a state investigation into Siler, CEO of Cannacea, a dispensary that opened last fall in Northeast Portland. The fraud inquiry is the first of its kind in Oregon’s marijuana industry.
Investigators also are examining the role of a company that Siler hired to help attract investors. The firm, Green Rush Consulting, worked with a felon previously convicted in a financial scam.
Cannacea soon had a group of backers who were drawn to the state’s new recreational pot trade and the tantalizing prospect of sharing in a booming market expected to generate an estimated $181.2 million this year.
That vision of wealth unraveled. Relationships soured between Siler, a self-described herbalist and holistic counselor, and many of those she hoped would bankroll her operation. The venture spiraled into nasty accusations, multiple court claims against Siler and her dispensary and demands from investors that she return their money, according to court documents and the state’s investigative file on the case released to The Oregonian/OregonLive in response to a public records request.
No one disputes that the letter was fake. But no one admits to writing it and state investigators can’t pinpoint the author.
A Canadian entrepreneur said he invested $168,000 after one of Siler’s associates showed the letter to him. At least three other investors had material that included false claims about the business; it’s unclear how many of them made investments based on the bogus information, the state’s investigation indicates.
Siler, 45, who sells marijuana products she billed as treatments for chronic illnesses, has denied wrongdoing.
She told investigators that the Green Rush consultant fabricated the letter without her knowledge. In a statement, Siler described herself as the unwitting victim of people who tried to exploit her vision so they could turn a quick profit.
Read the full story at