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Lavish Parties, Greedy Pols and Panic Rooms: How the ‘Apple of Pot’ Collapsed

The warm California sun shone down on Adam Bierman as he stepped up to the ceremonial ribbon strung across the entrance of his latest triumph: a new store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, the hottest retail strip west of the Mississippi.

Bierman stood facing a pack of clamoring photographers. Behind him, inside the shop, were besuited politicians, including Congressman Ted Lieu, who had come out to show their support. The actress Rosario Dawson, now known in Washington as Cory Booker’s girlfriend, was also on hand, recording the scene on her iPhone.

Bierman, who styled himself the Steve Jobs of the “green rush” into legal weed, sported a red hoodie emblazoned with a white pot leaf. It was early June, 2018, barely a week since MedMen, the cannabis business he led, had gone public on a Canadian stock exchange, boasting an implied valuation of $1.6 billion.

“We want the world to walk in and see what the future looks like,” he said. “And the future is right here on Abbot Kinney.”

At the time, MedMen indeed looked to become the Apple of pot, the first mainstream, nationwide consumer brand for the product that drove so many Americans to ingest and invest. [Read more at Politico]

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