MedMen’s CFO trial launches with ferocious claims of illegal activity

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On Friday, October 22, MedMen’s highly publicized CFO trial kicked off. The legal battle, which took place in Los Angeles, involved an extremely heated initial day of testimony. 

Taking the stand to testify against his previous employees was former MedMen Chief Financial Officer (CFO) James Parker. 

His case had long-been put on the backburner following a 2019-filed complaint. Fortunately, MedMen’s CFO trial is now gaining the attention it deserves.

The former CFO left the company in November 2018, just two months after MedMen started trading publicly an indication that the cannabis company was experiencing struggles. In February of the following year, Parker proceeded to file the explosive lawsuit, which accused MedMen of “wrongful termination”. 

Parker affirms that the company’s executives, Adam Bierman and Adam Modlin, started looking for a new CFO before he chose to abandon his role.

Why did Parker resign from his role as CFO of MedMen?

During his recent meeting with a Los Angeles jury, former CFO Parker said that he felt forced to resign from his job after learning that Modlin and Bierman had been dabbling in the illegal transportation of cannabis and stock market manipulation. However, a recent report published by Law360 claimed that Parker’s testimony was incomplete. 

According to an opening statement by attorney Michael J. Kump of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP,  Modlin and Bierman allegedly “created and imposed a toxic management style that included racist, homophobic and sexist slurs and other abusive conduct.” 

Parker is believed to have complained to the former MedMen executives “repeatedly about this.”

The report went on to say that MedMen’s lawyer William F. Dugan of Baker & McKenzie LLP “told the jury during opening statements that Parker was a poor CFO who was in over his head and that he negotiated the terms of his own contract.”

Dugan also said that “Parker violated his contract by suddenly quitting without giving a 90-day notice, and did so just as he had been informed he was being put under a performance review.” 

Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing MedMen CFO case, Parker can somewhat relax in the knowledge that his legal fees which could reach highs of $500,000 will be paid for by the company. Opening statements were not provided by defendants Bierman and Modlin.

MedMen’s CFO replacements and other allegations

Aside from the aforementioned allegations, Parker also told the Los Angeles jury that MedMen’s dispensaries were violating credit card rules laid out by major companies MasterCard and Visa. Due to federal law, credit card charges are not permitted by cannabis companies, but MedMen ignored this rule.

Moreover, Parker slammed Bierman for making him feel uncomfortable in the workplace each time the executive used vulgar and offensive language. However, MedMen fought back by saying that Parker was also to blame for making unprofessional and offensive comments.

Following Parker’s resignation, Jim Miller was appointed as interim CFO. Shortly after, in December 2018, he was replaced by Michael Kramer. Eight months later, Kramer was fired and his role filled by Zeeshan Hyder. 

Unsurprisingly, Hyder’s stint at MedMen was also brief he departed from the controversial cannabis company in December 2020. The current interim CFO is Reece Fulgham.