Happy Ending: Former Partners Who Built weGrow Into Hydroponics Giant Settle Feud, End Litigation

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Two prominent executives in the medical marijuana industry caught up in a contentious feud have agreed to bury the hatchet and go their separate ways for the good of MMJ in general.

Dhar Mann, the founder of hydroponics giant weGrow, and his former business partner Derek Peterson, who runs a hydroponics company called GrowOp Technology, have reached a settlement that effectively ends all litigation between the individuals and their companies.

The two used to work side-by-side at weGrow, which Mann founded before bringing Peterson aboard in 2010 as a top executive and partner. Mann and Peterson had a falling out, and the partnership ended less than a year later, with each side leveling charges against the other.

Mann sued Peterson and others involved in GrowOp (case numbers RG11568327 and RG11563609) for breach of contract and “unlawful” attacks, while the defendants filed a cross-complaint.

The former business partners decided to work toward an agreement in earnest after the government began a large-scale crackdown on medical marijuana in California and other states. Mann said they felt it was more important to redirect their attention to other important challenges affecting the industry.

“There are bigger issues facing medical cannabis that personal and business differences should not exacerbate,” Mann said. “We’re putting differences aside and encouraging others to do so in the best interest of the industry and cannabis patients.”

Peterson said both sides succumbed to emotion, which led to “untrue statements” and assertions.

“As the federal situation becomes more dire I have noticed (that) the industry is becoming more fragmented,” Peterson said. “We both realize our business differences were not helping the medical cannabis industry, and as allies we have a chance to make a much more positive impact.”

Disputes among partners are common in the business world, and the same holds true for the budding medical marijuana industry. Many dispensary owners, for instance, have had to navigate through similar challenges after a partnership soured either with a co-founder, investor or grower.