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Standards Can’t Come Soon Enough for the Pot Sector

A non-profit cannabis group announced a set of standards for the industry last week, aiming to be proactive before a scandal sullies the sector.

“This is the first time that I can think of where an industry’s decided to get CSR right out of the gate,” said Rick Petersen, author of the Global Cannabis Partnership’s, the corporate social responsibility framework. The group includes 45 cannabis companies, government agencies and law firms, representing countries including Canada, the U.K. and Israel.

The fledgling sector could use some clearly defined goalposts.

The highest-profile governance scandal to date was at Aphria Inc., which was accused by short-sellers of paying inflated prices for “largely worthless” assets owned by insiders. A special committee found the company paid an “acceptable” amount for the assets but also found that certain directors had conflicting interests in the deal that weren’t fully disclosed to the board. Aphria is now revamping its board and management team under interim CEO Irwin Simon.

Beleave Inc. recently settled with regulators in British Columbia after it admitted paying C$7.5 million to consultants who didn’t actually do any work for the company. [Read More @ Bloomberg]

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