A Republican Colorado State Senator, Don Coram, allegedly used his political clout with the Colorado State Department of Agriculture and local Montrose County DA to press charges against three businessmen of Denver, who ran a publicly traded cannabis company, for unpaid wages. purchase of biomass from the Coram hemp company Paradox Ventures. This is a historic case that the hemp industry and the legal community are watching closely.
Montrose Country prosecutors used an old law designed to protect farmers from companies that resell, package or store their products and charged the company, United Cannabis Corp, and its executives with two violations of the law on small retailers of agricultural products.
Leaders interviewed by CLR, claim that Coram is using its political power to circumvent civil contract law because the unpaid bill stems from the company’s bankruptcy filing, and Paradox Ventures could receive restitution for the unpaid bill via criminal plea agreements, thus jumping the line bankrupt secured creditors seek.
An internal complaint that was written to government regulators, along with COA reports, also show that executives think Paradox sold them HOT hemp way above the legal 0.03% THC level.
Cannabis Law Report reviewed at least seven Certificate of Analysis reports issued by Aurum Labs, a third-party vendor for Paradox Ventures from 2019, that showed THC levels of up to .59%.
The COA reports were distributed by Senator Coram’s hemp farm partner Dave Coker when he offered United Cannabis Corp to buy biomass from Paradox Ventures.
United Cannabis Corp, which traded on OTC markets at a high of $5, is not the first company allegedly sold hot hemp by Paradox
During a series of investigative reporting on Folium Biosciences issues, CLR discovered that Paradox Ventures also allegedly sold hot hemp to this company according to an internal report from Folium’s lab.
Learn more about Paradox Ventures At Colorado Politics
Folium CEO Kashif Shan was also hesitant to pay Paradox Ventures for the biomass, but billing records reviewed by CLR show Paradox was finally paid.
A former Folium executive said CLR it was Coram’s perceived political power that convinced Folium’s CEO to pay. Senator Coram was instrumental in passing water rights legislation that was helpful to Folium’s largest hemp farming partner run by Diamond A Farms.
Coram partner Dave Coker, who runs the hemp farming business day-to-day, did not respond to multiple emails asking the company to explain the COA’s hot hemp reports or their alleged role in securing criminal charges against United Cannabis Corp executives.
An internal report by Leif Jacobsen of the Colorado Department of Agriculture said it was Don Coram who first called Farm Products Program Administrator Brian Koontz to complain about the unpaid $54,812 bill. $ during the second week of April 2020. Coram had waited at least four months since the biomass was sold in late 2019 to file the suit with the Department of Agriculture which coincided with the filing for bankruptcy of United Cannabis Corp.
Coram has also asked the Department of Agriculture to follow up with its partner Dave Coker to confirm details of the biomass deal, according to the report.
The Department of Agriculture’s investigation showed that United Cannabis Corp did not have a small dealer agricultural product license and the required bond had been posted with the regulator. United Cannabis Corp CEO Earnest Blackmon told this reporter, based on the advice of his in-house counsel, that they believe the company does not need the reseller license, especially since they rarely purchased hemp from Colorado farmers and that the Department of Agriculture rarely held cannabis. responsible companies.
Even though the Department of Agriculture report says they knew the company was bankrupt, the regulator still sent a cease and desist letter on April 29, 2020. United Cannabis Corp said that at by the time they received the letter, the company had already ceased operations in Colorado.
Seven months after the C&D letter was sent, the court records obtained by CLR, show Montrose Deputy DA Jason Wilson has signed a formal two-count complaint against the company, the CEO, a board member, the chief financial officer and a consultant who originally introduced the two companies. The Class 6 felony charges were filed on December 9, 2020……….for being an unlicensed agricultural products dealer/agent and not having a connection to the state.
The case appears to have been approved without much due diligence on the part of local prosecutor Seth Ryan. One of the named defendants lists the CFO’s son who bore the same name as his father. Additionally, since the consultant was not an officer or director or named in any company filings with the SEC or the Colorado Secretary of State, the letter of the law regarding liability or the scientist of the charges could not be his.
Neither had decision-making power to pay bills or obtain a dealer license, according to two Colorado attorneys who reviewed the case for CLR. What is also odd is why the remaining board member has not been charged, instead it appears that only people who were CC’d on an email chain regarding the sale biomass, launched by Coram’s partner, Coker, have been charged.
The discovery in the case gives the impression that it was Paradox Ventures who picked and chose who they wanted the DA to bill when they delivered the email to the Montrose DA
A person who worked with United Cannabis Corp said CLR they or they thinks it was nothing more than a targeted witch hunt for Coram’s business interests to use the state court system to act as its own collection agency. The individual knows the details of the case and spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from Coram.
The consultant was eventually removed from the case and the original charges sealed after Deputy DA Wilson was unable to explain why he was accusing the individual specifically to the judge and defense attorney, according to a person close to the file.
It was only five months after the initial complaint that the CFO of United Cannabis Corp was formally charged in the case in the first week of June 2021 and his son was eventually removed from the case for error. of identity.
CEO Ernie Blackmon and board member Chad Ruby were initially going to fight the case, but after being told it was a “hometown job” of the hometown of Senator Coram, they pleaded to a misdemeanor charge and accepted every paycheck. one-third of the unpaid invoice in restitution to Coram’s Paradox Ventures. Blackmon then launched a new cannabis-related business.
The CFO isn’t backing down though, and his trial date is set for August 2022. What’s odd is that the discovery and charging documents show Dave Coker as a witness in the case but not Don. Coram, who was the person who made the initial complaint to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Wilson is also a witness in the case for which he is lead prosecutor. Attorney Wilson was questioned by CLR when Coram or its affiliates approached the prosecutor’s office to lay the charges, but he did not respond, instead saying the case was still open and he was unable to speak about it. Wilson was also asked why he did not call Coram as a witness and to explain why charges were dropped against two initial defendants.
Coram, a longtime resident of Montrose, Colorado, is proud to fight for the people of rural Colorado. He rents out his house in Montross and is a silent partner in his son’s local cafe. Coram is also a candidate for the US Congress.
Since last week, local media officially announced his Republican primary run against the incumbent president and member of the freedom caucuses Lauren Boebert. Boebert, who recently beat Coram’s friend Scott Lipton to a five-term U.S. congressman, is also from rural Colorado, a Trump supporter, and owns a bar.
Coram’s apparent long-standing conflicts of interest caught the attention of Boebert’s team.
A website launched in January by the Congressional Women’s Campaign is called CorruptCoram.com. (see below) The website details how much money they think Coram has earned from the state cannabis legislation he led.
A review of open files shows a political PAC from Colorado called Cowboy is listed at Coram’s home address in Montross and Coram is listed as a registered agent. The Coram campaign team could not be reached for comment on the CorruptCoram website.
See the website providing the Paradox Ventures Hemp Program timeline
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