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Is Trulieve Supporting the #FreeThePlant Petition For Their Own Gain?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

I'm no conspiracy theorist, and I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade because of a wild idea, but I do find a few aspects of Trulieve's support towards Regulate Florida's "Homegrow" petition quite odd. The petition that aims to allow citizens up to 9 plants/18 per household is gaining a lot of traction and Trulieve seems to be the only cannabis corporation willing to publicly support it. At first glance it seems like a progressive move by the cannabis giant to support an organization like Regulate Florida and their petition that has the potential to shake up cannabis laws, whether its direct or indirect. However, the more you begin to truly understand what Trulieve represents and what the petitions aims for, mixed with the other dispensaries reluctance of support shows a kind of sinister motive for the nation's largest cannabis corporation. Why would a corporate giant support legislation that helps the individual citizen? What news have they been in recently? Is it too crazy of an idea to believe that a multi-billion dollar corporation is looking to gain more power by supporting such a petition?

Lets start off with a few facts, and these facts cannot be argued:

  1. Trulieve is the largest cannabis corporation in the United States after its recent buyout of Harvest.

  2. Trulieve is miles ahead of their competition in Florida regarding the # of stores and revenue.

  3. Trulieve is under scrutiny due to the CEO's husband being sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for corruption; partly due to his influence in the Florida legislation that legalized medical marijuana.

For those who may not be aware, Trulieve's CEO, Kim Rivers, is married to JT Burnette whom works in real estate and construction. Burnette has many business ties to politicians and other businessmen/businesswomen, one of them being a state legislator named Halsey Beshears. Though Beshears hasn't yet been charged for bribery, corruption, and extortion, one of the prosecution's examples of such corruption included Burnette and Halsey creating "barriers of entry" in Florida's medical marijuana legislation while it was being created. These barriers restricted many farmers from obtaining a medical license to grow and sell cannabis, primarily black farmers. While these barriers to entry were being created, a nursery owned by Beshears teamed up with two other nurseries to buy Florida's first medical license, and this culmination of nurseries became Trulieve. So, not only did Burnette work with a state legislator to manipulate Florida's medical marijuana laws, this legislator he worked with (Halsey Beshears) owned a stake in what would become the biggest cannabis company in the nation, and this cannabis company would eventually appoint Burnette's wife, Kim Rivers, as its CEO. All 3 parties, including Trulieve, benefitted from Burnette's illegal dealings.

Considering all that in mind, why would Trulieve support legislation that aims to help the everyday Floridian obtain up to 9 plants? It's a mix of a few reasons. First, and foremost, Trulieve needs a positive distraction from the shit-show they are finding themselves in. Not only is Trulieve denying any kind of relationship with Burnette, but they are staunchly defending Rivers and her stance on it all. And rightfully so, because what kind of company would throw their CEO under a bus? Yet, that's exactly why they coincidentally find themselves as the main sponsor of Regulate Florida's Homegrow petition. And ask yourself, who is behind Regulate Florida? One of its board members is named Chris "Sunshine" Williams, of Sunshine Cannabis, and he is one the bigger activists for the Homegrow petition by standing in the front lines, making statements, and answering questions regarding the legislation. Why is that important? Sunshine Cannabis sells their flower and other cannabis products in Trulieve dispensaries. The two companies are closely connected, and they are not shy about it, either. If you check the Sunshine Cannabis Instagram page, they fully support Trulieve and their business.

So, Trulieve sponsoring legislation made by a close business partner of theirs obviously creates some good publicity, right? Let's say, hypothetically, the legislation gets all the signatures required to finally be on the 2022 ballot, and then is approved by the voters of Florida. Who will take credit for it? Sunshine Cannabis and Trulieve, of course. That's great, positive publicity for Trulieve. That's money, as well (I'll get into that soon). Jasmine Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of Green Essence, certainly believes Trulieve is trying to garnish as much positive publicity as they possibly can considering the ties and connections that Trulieve is known to have. During our interview, Jasmine pointed out how Burnette's trial explains why Trulieve is incredibly wealthy while black farmers still don't get to participate in Florida's cannabis market. Jasmine's explanation brings me to another reason why Trulieve is sponsoring Homegrow; for more power.

Let me be clear about the best possible scenario for the Homegrow petition; Trulieve would make A LOT of money from its success. Like I mentioned, the legislation was created by business partners whom sell products at Trulieve locations. If the legislation is passed, Trulieve and Sunshine Cannabis will take credit and people will be buying more of their products. More money=more power (duh). BUT, there is another, more sinister layer to Trulieve's involvement. The cannabis company is already known to be involved with shady business people (JT Burnette, Halsey Beshears, etc.) who've manipulated the medical cannabis laws in Florida. That's a well-known fact. So, if there's legislation being created by ANOTHER business partner of Trulieve, where Floridians over 21 years of age are immediately affected by it, it isn't too crazy to think that Trulieve could AGAIN have a hand in important legislation regarding cannabis laws in Florida, right? Trulieve benefitted from the original medical marijuana laws because of the "barriers of entry" created by the CEO's husband, and they are now the most profitable cannabis company in the country. That's power by having immediate influence in the state's legislation. Now, imagine if Homegrow is passed. That is MORE influence. They already have connections to politicians, and instead of just medical marijuana, they can have influence in the laws of recreational marijuana, too!

Trulieve is a corporation. They're Big Cannabis. Any and all cannabis legislations in Florida will pass through them before it becomes law. They have the money and the connections to influence the laws in Florida. That is real POWER. If the Homegrow petition is passed, Trulieve will take credit due to their influence. The good publicity will cause people to buy more Trulieve products. The more people buy Trulieve products, the more money. More money=more power for Trulieve. Seeing as they already have connections to lawmakers in Florida's, you better believe they will have a hand in the legislation (if passed) and this influence will only increase their power. Ask yourself, is Trulieve's products really worth that kind of power? To me, the answer is simple; NO.


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