By CLAYTON GUSE and DENIS SLATTERY
| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
FEB 10, 2019 | 7:20 PM
The company behind New York’s “Apple Store of weed” is getting shoved out of the state’s smoking circle.
The New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association is cutting ties with MedMen amid accusations of racist and sexist remarks and financial corruption among its top executives.
MedMen, which opened a swanky new dispensary on Fifth Ave. last year and is planning to open another location in the Meatpacking District, holds one of 10 licenses for operating medical cannabis dispensaries in New York state.
A lawsuit filed last month in Los Angeles Supreme Court by the company’s former chief financial officer James Parker alleges MedMen CEO Adam Bierman referred to an L.A. city councilman as a “midget negro” and used the company as his personal “piggy bank.”
Parker says Bierman and other members of the California-based company’s top brass regularly used homophobic and racial slurs, and casually committed bank and financial fraud while having a cavalier attitude towards the company’s shareholders.
“The Association has a zero-tolerance discrimination policy for any of our members who engage in this type of despicable behavior,” NYMCIA representatives said in a letter Sunday addressed to Gov. Cuomo, state Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly speaker Carl Heastie.
MedMen was asked to resign from the association, which is currently advocating for the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Albany. The group’s board chair and president both said MedMen would be expelled if they refused to resign.
“We still support the org (NYMCIA) and its cause,” said MedMen spokesman Daniel Yi. “We have already addressed these allegations publicly. They are patently false. They were made by a disgruntled employee and are untrue.”
Cuomo proposed legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over 21 in his state budget recommendation last month. He estimated the Empire State could eventually pull in $300 million a year in tax revenue.
Albany lawmakers — including Heastie, who has expressed doubt over whether all the details can be worked out by the April 1 budget deadline — are slated to mull over the proposal Tuesday during a joint economic development hearing.