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Marijuana tech firm Dutchie sues software firm Akerna in Pennsylvania

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Marijuana e-commerce platform Dutchie is suing cannabis technology software firm Akerna Corp. over what it claims is a violation of Pennsylvania law.

Dutchie’s lawsuit says Pennsylvania law requires open integration with any partner, including point-of-sales systems, and alleges that Akerna is unfairly refusing to open its state traceability system to allow integration with cannabis retailers’ technology partners of choice.

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Akerna, an offshoot of the MJ Freeway-MTech merger, provides seed-to-sale tracking to Pennsylvania marijuana companies through its Leaf Data Systems software.

“We have heard from numerous customers and retailers from across the state that they had no choice but to use Akerna’s point of sale system despite the better options available,” John Kelleher, general counsel for Bend, Oregon-based Dutchie, said in a statement.

“Retailers should have the freedom to choose the technology partners that best help them succeed and ensure patients have safe and easy access

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New York’s $200 million marijuana social equity fund still awaiting capital

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A first-of-its kind $200 million social equity fund in New York that’s been promised to qualified marijuana entrepreneurs is still awaiting its first investment that would help bankroll the effort, fund managers told MJBizDaily.

Under the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), the first 150 adult-use cannabis retail licenses are reserved for nonprofits and “justice involved” social equity applicants.

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In addition to “turnkey dispensaries” leased by the Dormitory Authority of New York, the law also set up a state-overseen investment fund that equity applicants can tap for startup capital.

The state pledged to contribute $50 million to the social equity fund, with the remaining $150 million to come from private-sector investors.

However, despite a Sept. 1, 2022, deadline to secure “capital commitments,” the state hasn’t yet secured funding, Reuben McDaniel III, DASNY’s president and CEO, told MJBizDaily.

“We have a great investor base, we’re negotiating

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Quebec court dismisses shareholder suit against cannabis producer Hexo

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Hexo Corp. said it won the dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit that had been pending before the Quebec Superior Court against the Canadian cannabis producer and a former CEO.

In the suit, filed in Quebec on Nov. 19, 2019, certain primary market and secondary market purchasers of the company’s stock had alleged that Hexo misled investors regarding a wholesale purchase agreement with the province-owned wholesaler Société québécoise du cannabis.

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The court disagreed with the plaintiff’s argument.

The suit also delved into disclosure obligations and Hexo’s purchase of competing producer Newstrike on May 24, 2019.

Sebastien St. Louis, a former Hexo chief executive officer, was the former CEO named in the suit.

“We’re very satisfied with the Court’s detailed opinion, which dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims and supports HEXO’s position,” current CEO Charlie Bowman said in a statement.

“This favourable ruling is important for our company

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Tech firm Akerna sells software business, exits marijuana industry to join crypto venture

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Akerna Corp., the parent company of pioneering cannabis technology company MJ Freeway, said Friday it’s exiting the marijuana industry based on headwinds much of the market is facing.

Denver-based Akerna is merging with cryptocurrency business Gryphon Digital Mining in an all-stock deal that will allow the latter company to go public on the Nasdaq.

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Akerna also is selling its software business to POSaBIT Systems Corp., which offers payment solutions to the cannabis industry, for $4 million in cash.

Akerna CEO Jessica Billingsley told MJBizDaily via email that the moves were influenced by federal marijuana legalization happening “slower than anticipated” and “a changing macroeconomic climate that is unfavorable toward our financial obligations.”

“This decision was not taken lightly,” Billingsley added in a separate LinkedIn post.

“After much consideration and evaluation, we believe it provides the best outcome for all of our stakeholders, including our team members and

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