Denver, CO – December 13, 2018 – Greenspoon Marder: A District Court in Denver issued a judgement this week against Sweet Leaf co-owners Matthew Aiken, Christian Johnson and Anthony Sauro (Anthony Sauro, et al.) in the amount of $8,800,000 for their failure to honor commitments under written agreements with a client of the firm. The transaction originated in late 2016 with the sale of four cannabis businesses together with their licenses to Sweet Leaf, which is owned by Aiken, Johnson and Sauro. As a part of the sale, Aiken, Johnson and Sauro entered into written agreement that they breached in late 2017 following raids by the City of Denver.
“This is an important case for the greater cannabis community,” said Greenspoon Marder partner
Anton Handal, lead counsel on the case. “As cannabis businesses join the mainstream business community, persons that do business with them can rely on the fact that Courts will enforce agreements made with them. This judgment shows that the Courts view cannabis businesses through the same lens as any other business. I am pleased with the judgment but much work remains to be done and we intend on pushing the matter until our client is made whole.”
The case is a study for cannabis businesses. The Court’s swift action (a process of eight months from complaint to judgement) is an example of how well the “nuts and bolts” of both parties’ businesses were created and executed. Personal guarantees, equipment leases and other nuances of cannabis business operations all came into play in this case. “We are extremely pleased with the outcome for our client,” said
Rachel Gillette, Greenspoon Marder partner and Chair of the Cannabis Law Group. “Our aim is to help legitimize marijuana businesses and help them be a normal and trusted part of the corporate world. This case represents justice for the business owner playing by the rules, regardless of the type of business.”
Mr. Handal, Ms. Gillette, Gabriel Hedrick,
Stuart Knight and Kristen Morris served on the Greenspoon Marder team for this matter.