Friday, May 18, 2012

Dhar Mann, Owner of Oakland's WeGrow, the "Wal-Mart of Weed", Faces Thirteen Felony Charges

By David Downs
Fri, May 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

From the Oakland Tribune's Matthew Artz on Thursday: "One of Oakland's highest-profile cannabis entrepreneurs is scheduled to be arraigned on 13 felony counts for allegedly pocketing city grant money that was to be used for upgrades at four of his properties. In a complaint filed Thursday, the Alameda County District Attorney's office accused Dharminder "Dhar" Mann of submitting copies of checks made out to contractors for city reimbursement without actually submitting the checks to the contractors."

A 27 year-old former mortgage broker, Mann allegedly took $44,000 in city funds based on fraudulent checks.

In March of last year, East Bay Express began reporting on problems with Mann's operations: specifically unpaid contractors. One eventually filed a fraud claim that brought in the authorities.

Dhar Mann at the now-closed iGrow of Oakland
  • David Downs
  • Dhar Mann at the now-closed iGrow of Oakland
Astoundingly, a group affiliated with Mann called "G8" somehow became a finalist in December for a city permit to open an Oakland dispensary. G8 then won a permit in March, pending the acquisition of a new lease.

Meanwhile, Mann has been staying one step ahead of his reputation, whooping up publicity for his "Wal-Marts of Weed" in Sacramento, Arizona and Washington D.C. Mann allegedly has taken tens of thousands of dollars from investors who want to open WeGrow franchises, but mandatory disclosures in WeGrow franchise signing agreements have failed to detail the trail of small claims and general civil lawsuits Mann's left in his wake. Buyer beware.

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