Oregon Marijuana Businesswoman Fined $40k for Fraud

An Oregon medical cannabis dispensary owner has been fined $40,000 by state regulators after they concluded she defrauded investors.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services last week found that Tisha Siler, the CEO of Cannacea, was guilty of investment fraud, the Oregonian reported. The allegations, first reported last month, could be the first-ever case of a licensed cannabis businessperson being penalized for such a crime.

The agency found that Siler lied to investors when she claimed that state regulators had “personally invited” her to open dispensaries, that she had already gotten the green light on six storefronts “with limited red tape,” and that she would have influence over state rules for the coming recreational cannabis industry. That deceit led four investors to put up a total of $225,000 in Cannacea.

The agency also issued a cease-and-desist order against Green Rush Consulting, a California company that unknowingly helped Siler pull off her scam, and fined it $20,000 but suspended $12,500 of the fine. Green Rush, the state said, failed to verify the authenticity of a fake letter that Siler generated in order to dupe investors, or information that was in Cannacea investor materials, the Oregonian reported.

Green Rush can perform consulting work in Oregon, but not any business activity connected to securities in the state without formal approval from the Department of Consumer and Business Services.

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3 comments on “Oregon Marijuana Businesswoman Fined $40k for Fraud
  1. Christopher Hinton on

    Readers, please be advised that the consulting business mentioned in this article is NOT the same “Green Rush Advisory Group”, a local cannabis consulting firm run by Ford Pearson in Portland.
    Our local “Green Rush” is honest and honorable, and I have used 30 hours of his services and he is a true professional. If the Editors could make a disclaimer in the article that would be helpful, as we don’t want to hurt our own local entrepreneurs by confusing their reputation with these alleged fraudsters. Us Oregonians have to look after one another!

  2. Dave Armstrong on

    Can anyone say “Pot Ponzi Scheme” and smell the truth out in these cannabis related businesses situations? I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but I can simply read the writing in the wall and tell you all what it says. Here’s the problem with any and all ideas of having investors contribute funds to any individual or organization operating in the marijuana industry. First off there’s the federal law known as the CSA which clearly states that no one can “sell” or “profit” from a controlled substance. Correct me if I’m wrong here folks but aren’t investors looking for a return on their investment which would obviously involve a “profit”? When states make laws that directly conflict with federal ones then “federal supremacy” preempts state law and is the law of the land. This is very important when and if the long arms of federal law enforcement come knocking at your door. Yes, the current federal spending amendment protects those who are following state law from the DOJ and the DEA but it does not protect anyone especially investors from the potential of IRS intervention and audits. The recent outbreak of IRS audits and federal laws being enforced by the IRS in Colorado is evidence this problem and everyone needs to take notice. The IRS doesn’t care who you are or what organization it is as long as it involves marijuana we’re all easy targets in their eyes. If the IRS uses Rule 280E against any entity in the business it’s out of business just as fast as it started and they may even go after you with criminal charges and incarcerate you in federal prison as well as siezing all the money and assets involved in the operation. So you see in my opinion there cannot be any investors or investment groups supporting this industry without willfully and knowingly this fact and the reality that they could lose it all in a blink of the IRS’s eye. We cannot continue to put the cart before the horse and hope that the horse (IRS) will someday catch up and federal law will change to comfort our bumpy ride on the “green rush” road to fame and fortune. So buyers beware and investors becareful when it comes to putting money into this industry and anyone caught in the middle offering these opportunities needs to disclose these facts before selling a lemon that has and runs the risk of total failure simply because marijuana is involved. Until Uncle Sam and the IRS say it’s okay to make lemonade from lemons (cannabis) you and your lemonade stands don’t and won’t have any legs to stand on! Just ask the business in Colorado who are facing closure and the individuals potentially facing criminal charges how they feel and what their experiences are with the IRS’s long arm of enforcing the federal laws. We need change from the “top down” not the “bottom up” if this industry and the people involved are ever gonna have a chance in hell to survive and thrive! The federal government must remove marijuana from the controlled substance act scheduling so we can all move on and forward in this industry. Our states want to “sin” tax the hell out of cannabis so they can “profiteer” too but this isn’t alcohol or tobacco we’re talking about folks, it’s marijuana and it’s still a controlled substance and federally illegal!

    Sincerely Concerned,

    Dave Armstrong
    Managing Member of MediMarts
    A Closed-Loop California Collective

  3. Nick on

    Regulators in Oregon made a good example out of this case. I hope it serves as a notice that, even though this may be a still banned substance by the federal government, doing business in the open still requires transparency. There are a lot of questionable businesses in the industry, and they need to either shape up, or get out.
    It is not that difficult to make a marijuana business successful. All you need is knowledge of how to run a business, hard work, attention to detail (which you cannot accomplish too well if you are high all the time while trying to make your business successful).

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