NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The state of Nevada has provisionally issued the cyber embattled marijuana company Terra Tech two cultivation licenses, two production licenses and four dispensary licenses. One of the licenses will be in Las Vegas, where nearly 40 million tourists visited last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
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“The medical marijuana program allows us to serve not only Nevadans but also valid patients from any other state while they are visiting,” said Derek Peterson, CEO with Terra Tech.
The Clark County Commission failed to approve Terra Tech’s local application this summer
. Peterson believes Terra Tech was denied licensing due to libelous communication from saboteurs. "They were repeatedly emailing commissioners, giving them false information about our company," Peterson told
. “They claimed the FBI had raided our offices, which isn't true."
Since then, Peterson has said his attorneys are preparing a tortuous interference lawsuit against Sunny Puri, the Anson Funds and others who are allegedly responsible for spreading negative information.
“Our attorneys are still deciding on venue between Nevada, Texas and New Jersey, primarily,” Peterson said. “We hope to have a decision late next week.”
Terra Tech had also been under attack online by a Twitter user named @Laughinpaulryan whose true identity Peterson believes is a man by the name of Norman Gates. Gates allegedly tweeted that a Terra Tech board member was sentenced to jail. “He does a lot of harassing people who defend Terra Tech on Twitter,” said Peterson. “When potential investors google Terra Tech, they want negative information to appear, which deters them from looking further into the company."
Despite the opposition, Terra Tech remains undeterred.
“Terra Tech is a publicly traded company, and from what I can see they are positioning themselves for a merger or acquisition by a major institutional investor and possibly by a player in alcohol or tobacco industries,” said Scott Giannotti, president of the Cannabis and Hemp Association (CHA), a trade association headquartered in New York.
Overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada’s medical marijuana program provides for a total of 66 retail dispensaries throughout the state.
“For Nevada to provisionally award four retail licenses to Terra Tech it means that Terra Tech was able to competently demonstrate the ability to succeed with all issues related to compliance as well as pass all related background checks,” said Robert Hunt, a cannabis attorney, investor and consultant.
“The state holds the management team of Terra Tech in very high regard and believes they will be able to act as positive corporate citizens in a closely scrutinized and highly regulated market.”
Peterson anticipates final approval of Terra Tech’s provisional licenses in Clark County next week.
“They have a hearing on the agenda to decide how they are going to deal with the discrepancies between the state and local rankings,” Peterson said. “In all other jurisdictions we are working through local licensing and permitting so that we can begin construction.” Should Terra Tech be granted final approval on their licenses, it means they will have the opportunity to execute on a portion of their business model that includes a partnership with IVXX, a brand of cannabis products.
“This will be a major new initiative for us and having a well known brand will be invaluable to us in the future,” said Peterson. “We plan on continuing to build out and apply for new licenses in New York, New Jersey, Florida and any other state where a significant opportunity arises.”
—Written for MainStreet by Juliette Fairley