While the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario was busy disqualifying all lottery winners who applied using addresses affiliated with REC retailer HighLife Cannabis, an anonymous Reddit user discovered other ballot-stuffing practices.
Financial Post, Leafly
- Reddit user u/AGCO_Lottery got even deeper into the lottery data and published a data-heavy post titled “Ballot Stuffing Prevails in 2nd Ontario Cannabis Lottery.”
- In addition to more data about HighLife–affiliated addresses, the Reddit user discovered the holding company launched by longtime Toronto head shop Friendly Stranger was involved in multiple applications.
- Last month, Friendly Stranger Holdings raised $5M in investments from LPs 48North and Vivo, and Aphria-related investment firm Green Acre Capital, and announced its intention to enter the REC retail market.
The Reddit user discovered 15 submissions to the lottery in the names of Friendly Stranger owner James Jesty and his family members, as well as 50 submissions related to the names of Green Acre Capital’s Matt Shaloub and Albert Soberano and their apparent relatives.
- One of the most surprising names the Reddit user discovered among REC retail lottery entries was that of Vic Neufeld, who stepped down as CEO of Aphria in January following a short-seller attack. His name and those of other Neufeld family members appeared on 15 ballots.
- The Reddit user concluded, “I believe the circle of influence of Friendly Stranger in this lottery process to be ~80 individuals [and] corporations.”
- The president of the Ontario Cannabis Store resigned after serving in the position for one year.
- Cannabis NB has struggled for profitability, but New Brunswick finance minister Ernie Steeves says he’s optimistic edibles legalisation will help bring the province’s crown REC retailer into the black.
CBC New Brunswick