Medical Marijuana, Inc.
This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. (September 2017)
|Traded as||OTC Pink: MJNA|
|Industry||Dietary supplements and consumer products|
|Headquarters||San Diego, California, U.S.|
|Stuart Titus, CEO|
The company came into being in 2009, when a company called Club Vivanet bought another company from Bruce Perlowin; the new company was named Medical Marijuana, Inc. and was based in Poway, California. The company appears to have been among the first to exploit the 2004 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, HIA vs DEA, which prevented the federal government from treating hemp as though it were marijuana, to market canabidiol-based products to the public.
Michael Llamas was the initial CEO of MMI; he stepped down in 2012 when he was indicted for his role in a real estate Ponzi scheme. The company operated at a loss for 2011 and 2012, and made money for the first time in 2013 on the basis of a single contract signed by one of its subsidiaries.
In 2013, MMI and CannaVEST, an exchange-traded fund, each invested in a company called Kannalife Sciences Inc. Kannalife had been founded in 2010 by Dean Petkanas, former CFO of Stratton Oakmont, the penny-stock trading company depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Thoma Kikis. Kannalife was founded to commercialize inventions made at the NIH concerning methods to use cannabidiol as a neuroprotectant. As of 2016, Kannalife was working on novel analogs of CBD that are more drug-like than CBD.
In the fall of 2014, the company filed a lawsuit against Project CBD and Stewart Environmental Labs to dispute a report of “significant levels of toxic solvents” in the hemp oil offered by one of their subsidiaries. Stewart Environmental settled with the company but Project CBD filed an anti-SLAPP motion in May 2015.
In 2014, MMI reported that it was under investigation by the SEC; the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority warned investors that year about penny stock scams in the marijuana industry. In 2015 a report in Forbes laid out relationships among CannaVEST, money taken in by the real estate Ponzi scheme run by Llamas, Stuart Titus and the private equity firm General Hemp that he ran, and one of MMI's subsidiaries called PhytoSphere.
In 2015 the company hired Titus as CEO after having an interim CEO since Llamas' departure. At that time, the company did most of its business through a subsidiary called HempMedsPX, which marketed and sold products from other MMI subsidiaries. As of 2015 the company sourced the hemp oil used in its products from a facility in Denmark. Its then-most prominent product was called "Real Scientific Hemp Oil", sold at around $169 per 3 grams, and was marketed as a dietary supplement. It also sold a range of other consumer products, such as hemp-based shampoo.
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