Monday, May 2, 2016

Musings: Choices

The “crabs in a bucket” mentality is playing out in the medical marijuana dispensary realm, with web designer Winston Welborn naming Green Aloha — the entity that won the Kauai license — in his lawsuit against former Hawaii Life Real Estate partner Justin Britt.

Welborn is claiming Britt took $375,000 more than he should have from a legal settlement. Britt owns Hawaii Life and is the principal of Green Aloha, with numerous investors raising some $3 million for the Kauai dispensary venture.

Though Welborn's lawsuit was filed in February, it only today made headlines in Civil Beat. Why? Because it's in Welborn's interest to have negative publicity surface now, and his friend, CB reporter Anita Hofschneider, was only too happy to oblige. Her article implies the disputed money is part of the $1.2 million that license hopefuls were required to have on hand when they filed their application.

The timing is clearly intended to push Britt into a quick settlement so the lawsuit doesn't derail the dispensary license. Of course, Welborn has already made piles of money pimping high-end Hawaii Life real estate. But I guess he wants more, even if he has to take down the Kauai dispensary license to get it.

I must say, I never expected Britt would beat out Charles Kawakami, with all of his connections. Still, it wouldn't have been good for Rep. Derek Kawakami, who is now running for Council, to have his dad in that particular biz. On a side note, Wally Rezentes Jr. has been tapped to serve as the mayor's administrative assistant when Nadine Nakamura leaves the post in her bid for Derek's House seat. Wally reportedly wants to be kept on when Derek aces the mayoral run in 2018.

Civil Beat, meanwhile, has an editorial advocating the Lege pass an industrial hemp bill, in part because about 4,500 petition signers want the crop grown on A&B's sugar lands on Maui. Really? This is how agricultural decisions are supposed to be made now in Hawaii? By petition? A&B's desires and economic viability are apparently rendered irrelevant. Since 4,500 non-farmers know how to sign their names, they get a say in a private company's crop production plans. Crazy.

If the Lege wants to approve hemp, fine. But don't try to shove it down A&B's throat.

Returning to medical marijuana, a farmer friend was disappointed that Richard Ha, the Big Island grower who recently announced he was shutting down his tomato and banana production, is the only farmer to be awarded a dispensary license. The state finally comes up with a way that farmers can make some serious dough, and the venture is instead co-opted by businessmen. But since the state required folks to have $1.2 million cash to even enter the game, that automatically excluded most farmers.

Another friend wondered how the state legally can create a monopoly, which will be the situation on Kauai, where only Green Aloha will be allowed to grow medical cannabis and open a dispensary. Good point.

One selling point of Justin's dispensary application was the promise of an all-organic product.

Which brought to mind a post I saw documenting the shift in several popular food products when they became “organic” and Non-GMO Project verified:

Watch vitamins disappear! While size drops! It's magic!
Of course, some of it enters the realm of the downright silly, especially when these products aren't genetically modified to begin with:
As the post notes:

Hey, if you want to pay more for less, that's your call. But don't force it on others.

Unfortunately, that's what's happening. As the Iowa Meets Maui blog previously noted, Costco is carrying more organic inventory, while jettisoning lower-priced conventional and GMO products from its shelves.

End result: Cash-strapped consumers have fewer choices, and are forced to pay more, as retailers cash in on the lucrative organic market that has been thrust upon us by anti-GMO activists  who, ironically, claim to be all about choice.


Anonymous said...

Read the CB article. Oh Kauai's haters. Sounds an awful lot like a shakedown.
That plaintiff and his lawyer could be on the receiving end of an abuse of process lawsuit, trading in a smaller lawsuit for a real big one against them.

Anonymous said...

We need to make a GMO coconut tree that grows twice as tall so Kauai can build some 8 floor housing that people can afford.

Anonymous said...

Not having money is the root of all evil.

Anonymous said...

Joan, do you know who the other investors in Justin's hui are?

John Kauai said...

Hey Joan:

The "vilified" non-GMO information is interesting. It made me wonder about whether or not the difference is actually between GMO and non-GMO cereals. Although it doesn't say on the box, aren't most cereals "fortified", meaning the vitamins and minerals are added during production? So, humor the conspiracy theorist in me, the cereal companies latch on to this demand for non-GMO and they choose to no longer fortify their product and they put less product into the box. (The less product for the same price has always been a marketing gimmick which one can readily see when comparing different products at Big Save. However, I must confess that it took me 10 minutes to go through all the different brands of dried fruit while making the comparison. What a pain.) They enhance their bottom line while pretending to be doing consumers a "service" by meeting "demand". Reminds me of the Jonny Lang song "Lie to me".

Anyway, here's a "Studies have shown" article that asks: Is Your Cereal Giving You a Vitamin Overdose?

And an article on how Denmark banned added vitamins in 2004: "Denmark bans added vitamins in cereal"

Of course, Mother Jones is run by a bunch of Commies and the Australians just like to "make stuff up". :^>

I'd look into it more, but I'm sure any new information I discover won't be any more revealing than what has already been brought up and, in the end, most people are just going to have their previous assumptions confirmed.

So we bought "Kauai Grown" pork chops and cucumbers for dinner tonight thinking that if we are getting poisoned at least we are supporting the local economy. And if I need fiber, I'll pop some popcorn. ;-)

Joan Conrow said...

That Mother Jones article is based solely on a report from an advocacy organization, Environmental Working Group, which does a lot of anti-GMO and pesticide fear-monger ink, so I wouldn't put much stock in it.

John Kauai said...

If someone starts a "Stop Green Harvest overflights" petition, I'll sign it.
What a waste of money and all the noise just so law enforcement can confiscate someone else's marijuana for their own use. If marijuana was "free" maybe the meth epidemic would "go away"?

There have been countless articles on the miracle of hemp. I wonder though, if it is really all that good, how is it that marijuana still on schedule one? Rumor has it that Hearst started the marijuana campaign back in the '30s to keep his lumber mills running to produce paper. Hemp paper is suppose to be much stronger. I've had a few products from hemp. They lasted a very long time. I have a hemp shirt. Very comfortable.

Here are some hemp facts

Now, concerning the question of whether or not the Legislature should mandate the growth of hemp, of course not. On the other hand, the Uiupono Initiative might put in a hemp processing plant rather than a dairy.

I think even I could grow hemp. :^)

Op-Ed A tip for American farmers: Grow hemp, make money

Anonymous said...

Great question!!!! Probably Ron Kouchi and his gudot wanna be's.

Anonymous said...

If pakalolo was free then the meth epidemic would be gone?

It's good to be optimistic but most of the people I know who smoked pakalolo are now meth addicts.

People keep on choosing not to make the right decisions in life.

No one can have them because they have to want to change themselves in order for them to beat their drug addiction or any addiction for that matter.

Anonymous said...

@11:47 Dude you have some radical friends. Poor Winny he, his brother, Justin, Matt, develops a company that sells every hard working person out of the north shore and the state.They have the morals of alley cats. Has old Neal the squealing drug dealer selling out Hanalei. Hawaii Life will bury itself while Justin takes takes a smoke break from pimping the aina off. What a way to open legal pakalolo in Hawaii for people who medically would choose it versus pharmaceutical. Ruin it with a lawsuit Welborn.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That N. Shore. What a day time soap.
One Wellborn suing the RE company his brother works for.

Anonymous said...

May 2, 2016 at 1:14 PM

ask anybody on kauai because i'll bet you most of these meth and other drug addicts probably smoked weed before and or beyond high school. It's a FACT that pakalolo is a gateway drug to harder/hardcore drugs.

RX pakalolo is just a way for these people to get free drugs paid for by tax dollars. its like all those health food stores that charge over priced organics. how are most of them people able to afford those high prices? EBT paid for by the Tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

As a medical marijuana card holder, I think the operative word is legal so not sure why it would ruin anyone's political career to be associated with good intended outcome.

Anonymous said...

I have read the complaint filed by Welborn and sympathize with him. He filed this long before Green Aloha won and his request were minimal considering that Justin stole $375,000. Wellborn even attempted a reasonable compromise with a heart felt letter detailing that he doesn't want to take it to court and he would have helped Justin if he would have asked instead of just taking. Read it on CB. These guys have been great friends for over 10 years and Justing screwed him over plain and simple. Joan you are usually very on point with your reporting but the villain in this case is Justin.

Anonymous said...

I'm supporting my neighborhood dealer. Fuck this government run bullshit.

Anonymous said...

"RX pakalolo is just a way for these people to get free drugs paid for by tax dollars." LOL, wut? It's not free. And it's much more expensive than just growing your own.

In states that are doing this right, there are different formulations of the active ingredients for different disorders, and they definitely aren't free. I've had friends leave, some permanently, for tailored treatments for seizures, cancer, glaucoma, Crohn's, and other problems. Yep, there is actual science to support different blends that affect different receptors, producing different results. The thing that concerns me the most about medical marijuana in Hawaii is that I don't see any discussion of and plans to formulate the correct cannabinoids for the conditions being treated. And nope, they don't all involve getting a "buzz".

Anonymous said...

Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity
Rule 3.6 Trial Publicity
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) information contained in a public record;

(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;

(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;

(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;

Chris B said...

Interesting comment about everyone someone knew that smokes meth used to smoke pot. I've noticed that everyone that does any drugs started off drinking alcohol. We should ban alcohol...oh, we tried that once and we had rampant gang violence, high % of binge drinking, the police spent a lot of their time chasing drug...sorry I mean alcohol dealers and manufacturers, and it didn't do anything to stop or minimize alcohol consumption but id did fill up prisons quite fast.

Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

No tears for Winston or any of these Hawaii Life jerk offs. They actually tried to make that punk Dustin Barca our Mayor. They deserve what they get.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that there is trouble at the high end real estate company. These people have always seemed to be solid. They care about Kauai.
Hawaii Life's support of Anti-Ag on the westside, anti-GMO/Pesticide and their support of Mr Hooser, Mr Chock amd Ms Yukimura are proof that they have Kauai at heart.
I hope these three ethical individuals can come together.
Kauai needs high end real estate agents selling the Rx Pakalolo. They know the land, they know business and they know Kauai.
It is a good thing that the Kawakami group of incumbent politicians didn't get the Rx business. That would have made the whole Pakalolo thing stink.
We all know that weed will be legalized in a few years and this will generate over 100 million in sales for these realters. Then they can buy out the Big Land Seed companies and share the land for us organic farmers. Power to the people. Make weed, not war.
And remember Bill Clinton, George Bush and Obama smoked and they became presidents, so weed doesn't hurt you. And Obama smoked the hi-octane Hawaii kolas. Condemn not, Let he who has not smoked throw the first roach-clip.

Anonymous said...

It's really unsettling to think the high end real estate sellout schemers got the license. We already knew they were ethically challenged before Winston filed his suit.

Anonymous said...

Too bad it's not a federal government ran program.

Say No to Drugs and Yes to reading comprehension.

Anonymous said...

The old problem to this is that we have pimps who got the license.

What do you think pimps do?

Hawaii Life

Anonymous said...

The Rich become Richer and the poor envy even more. Hawaii Life

Anonymous said...

@ 7:01 AM - Not sure if serious or sarcasm... but I laughed anyway!

@1:20 AM - There needs to be true effort by the state to support proper medical outcomes for cannabis medication. The ONLY way the Feds / States can justify selling/regulating medical marijuana of there is actual tracking of the medical benefits the compounds can produce in people. Otherwise the State is merely putting lipstick on a recreational pig with this medical dispensary legislation, and the FEDS will not take this up-swelling of de-regulation seriously, potentially bringing prosecution back to a priority in 'medical marijuana' states.

Do the medical research, prove the medical value, and have NOTHING to worry about!

Lboyd said...

Just a thought. Wheelies have always been made from wheat, no GMOs there? What possibly could they need to exclude to make it "GMO" free? Two suspects immediatly arise; corn fructose syrup; soy. So you take out the sweetener and substitute sugar, or some other sweet, that would explain the increase in fats. Soy actually adds some nutrition and vitamins, look at the much beloved tofu. (Seen any GMO free tofu signs)? So it's all about marketing. "GMO free" is easy to do for lots of products. And you end up marketing a more expensive, more profitable, less nutritious product. Same old food industry. The consumer bases for this, as evidenced by their naive faith in the propaganda around anti GMOs, makes the ideal consumers. Or marks.

Irk said...

You know, of course that Winston is an investor with Green Aloha's competitor, HK Medicinals,LLC?
You know, of course that white crab is really ono?

Anonymous said...

how can Kauai have only 1 dispensary? Did the state make the applicants disclose the backers and partners or did the state make a big booboo and not bother to know who the real investors are?

Anonymous said...

Joan dear, can you do an article on who applied and who the backers are?