Cannabis Greed - MedMen Caught Stealing Budtenders' Tips
During the development of the legal cannabis industry in the United States, MedMen has brought numerous innovations.
Whether in store-design ("The Apple Store of Weed") or marketing, we gave them kudos ("MedMen's Bold New Ads"). The company has been agile and determined, and now, has raised gobs of capital on the Canadian stock market, where everyone can get on the train (MMEN.C)
On the yooglier side of things, a certain stank has followed MedMen for some time. There have been rumors of double-digit lawsuits for poor results while the company was focused on consulting. Company founder and CEO Adam Bierman ruffled feathers with a few of his more nakedly capitalistic statements - MJBiz commented on his "...a brash, controversial style that has offended some marijuana business veterans who label him as a greedy, hype-over-substance opportunist who doesn’t respect them or the plant."
And in the same article, Bierman is quoted as saying “I’m great at making deals.” Alrighty then...
Exactly no one was surprised when MedMen went public, though the stock offering revealed some awfully big numbers...
"As part of its deal to go public, MedMen is selling about $100 million worth of new shares, which will give investors a roughly 6% stake in the company. That deal values the company at around $1.6 billion. That’s 60% richer than just two months ago, when the company raised money from a Canadian investment firm at a valuation of $1 billion."
And the money the 3 honchos (only) are going to reap from this deal will make your eyes water - read here
So how could a company making so much frickin' money start shaking down its bud tenders who make something like $10 an hour? Here's the scoop, as reported by Equity.Guru:
"...budtenders, who tell us they are paid minimum wage, are furious to see their paycheques being deducted, without explanation, for amounts they were paid in tips through credit and debit transactions. Some of those staff tell us their take home pay was turned into a negative through the unexplained actions."
Taking back tips (and without warning) from the lowest paid staff is the rankest, lowest, stankiest business practice we can think of at the moment. If this is true, MedMen should be ashamed.
Shame may be the least of its problems: The State of California has explicit rules about this odious practice, in Labor Code Section 351:
"Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers and their agents from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a patron. Furthermore it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee's wages. The law further states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. "Gratuity" is defined in the Labor Code as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons.
Also if true, MedMen has also crossed the The Union of Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 770), which represents MedMed employees (and employees of many cannabis businesses).
‘The Union has become aware that this week’s MedMen paycheque has tax deductions from the tips you have earned this year. This violates our agreement with the company. We are working to fix this.’
EquityGuru finishes its barn-burner article this way, and we couldn't do better:
"The CEO of the company has reportedly purchased a new home in Hollywood this week for over $3m, while asking his minimum wage employees to pony up as much as $500 each in back tips."
Image sources: GFarma.news, and Equity.guru