After breaching regulations and losing some employees, the owner of an Athol dispensary threatened his former staff in a video on Instagram. In response, state officials have taken action and suspended the dispensary’s license. In the video, the owner made a menacing statement, warning that he would resort to violence if anyone dared to interfere with his business.
Following a threatening video posted by owner Oluwaseun Adedeji on his Instagram account, Elev8, an Athol dispensary, had its license suspended by the Cannabis Control Commission on March 24. Despite attempts to reach him via text, email, and phone, Adedeji did not provide any comment or response. Calls made to the dispensary were unanswered, leaving the situation uncertain.
According to the Berkshire Eagle Newspaper:
“You touch my business, I will kill you,” Adedeji allegedly said in the video. “No, boy. I will not kill you. You f–k with me I’m gonna come for your everybody. Your whole family tree.” He then imitated the sound of gunfire.
Adedeji, who did not respond to The Eagle’s requests for comment, had already been in legal trouble in the months leading up to the March video, and had been having problems with the CCC’s application renewal process.
The CCC has said it found 10 “substantial” violations of its regulations, which Adedeji attempted to resolve by dismissing employees whom the commission identified as not having proper training and by promoting an employee to a top executive position.”
The CCC, responsible for regulating the cannabis industry in the state, informed Elev8 in February that the dispensary had committed severe violations of marijuana sales regulations. Elev8 was warned to rectify these issues or else face license suspension. As a result, Adedeji terminated two of his employees. He then dismissed one of his top executives, prompting some of the remaining staff at Elev8 to resign as a demonstration.
At first, on March 22, Adedeji assured the CCC that Elev8 had shut down and was operating within state regulations. However, just a day later, he posted a video on Instagram. He expressed frustration towards his former employees and stated that the dispensary was open, with him being the sole staff member present. In the video, filmed outside the dispensary, Adedeji appeared shirtless and warned his former staff that they should not set foot on his property without his permission, or else they would face dire consequences.
Reactions From Authorities
The CCC deemed Adedeji’s behavior reckless and posing a significant threat to public welfare, health, and safety. Consequently, the regulatory agency suspended the license of the Athol dispensary, along with provisional licenses Adedeji had acquired for dispensaries in Williamstown and Orange, which were yet to open. Adedeji also owns an Elev8-branded dispensary in Eugene, Oregon, where the retail staff and manager have reportedly resigned due to the ongoing conflict.
Currently, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission has not responded to inquiries regarding the status of the Eugene store. The CCC confirmed that the Athol store received its full dispensary license in September 2020. In October of the same year, Adedeji was arrested on charges which included indecent exposure, lewd conduct, and lascivious behavior. The case was upheld without a finding, and he is currently on probation. Meanwhile, three other charges against Adedeji were dropped in January. An official from Orange District Court confirmed these details.
The CCC spokesperson confirmed that the regulatory agency had knowledge of Adedeji’s arrest and chose to leave any criminal matters to law enforcement authorities. Earlier this month, Adedeji failed to attend a scheduled court hearing, prompting the authorities to issue an arrest warrant. On March 23, the Athol Police Department took him into custody. Adedeji is expected to appear in court next on April 14.
Events leading to the Arrest
In an email statement, a CCC spokesperson emphasized the regulatory agency’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of consumers, patients, and staff working in licensed cannabis facilities. Commission investigators had conducted both announced and unannounced visits to the Elev8 dispensary and identified several violations of regulations that required immediate attention from the business.
The CCC reported that Elev8 had submitted a license renewal application on February 8 of this year. The license was scheduled to expire on April 10. The agency requested further information for the application, and on February 17, they notified the dispensary of 10 substantial violations that required correction by March 9. Failure to comply with the deadline would result in disciplinary action.
According to the CCC, Adedeji terminated two employees on the same day the agency identified that they lacked some of the required training mandated by state regulations. Later, Adedeji appointed another employee as interim CEO, but three weeks later, he also terminated her contract. This action led to the entire staff’s resignation in protest.
Although Adedeji informed the CCC on March 22 that the Athol dispensary was closed, he contradicted himself in a video posted on Instagram a day later, claiming that the dispensary was open for business and he was running the store alone. As soon as the agency became aware of the video, they ordered a suspension of the dispensary’s license.
In its suspension notice, the CCC mentioned that Adedeji’s announcement on social media that he was alone at the Athol store and his invitation to the public posed a risk to public safety. According to the agency, a single individual can’t protect a Marijuana Establishment from diversion or potential theft adequately.
In response to the suspension notice, Adedeji has been given three weeks to request a hearing to contest the decision. The CCC has not disclosed whether Adedeji has appealed the suspension. The order has not only suspended Adedeji’s license but also banned seven other employees of Elev8 from working at the dispensary. Furthermore, the directive mandates that only Adedeji can access the dispensary with CCC’s approval. The CCC’s decision stems from concerns over Adedeji’s threats of violence and the public safety risks posed by a single individual trying to protect the dispensary.
The Elev8 cannabis dispensary owned by Bright Doe Adedeji in Athol, Massachusetts, has been suspended by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) due to regulatory violations and concerns over public safety. Adedeji’s actions, including firing employees and making threatening statements, have been deemed reckless and threatening to the public.
Additionally, Adedeji’s past legal issues, including indecent exposure and lewd conduct charges, have contributed to the suspension. The CCC has ordered Adedeji to correct the violations and has suspended several employees from working at the dispensary. Adedeji can appeal the suspension, but until then, Elev8 will remain closed. (Full Story)