LA Times Gets Cease-and-Desist Ahead of Cannabis Story

Lawyers representing cannabis brand Stiiizy and co-founder Tony Huang sent the letter

PUBLISHED DEC 17, 2023 11:28 P.M.
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The Los Angeles Times published an investigative series this week on a Southern California cannabis brand, Stiiizy, despite attorneys for this brand and its co-founder sending a cease-and-desist letter and threatening a lawsuit beforehand.

The Times wrote about how nine properties owned by holding companies connected to Stiiizy co-founder Tony Huang have been identified by state and local authorities “as sites of illegal dispensaries, according to a Times review of property, court and tax records. The documents, as well as interviews with law enforcement officials and dispensary employees, revealed ties between Huang’s properties and a larger web of unlawful cannabis storefronts across the Southland connected through real estate deals, common lenders or shared tenants.”

Huang declined to be interviewed by the Times and his attorney took an unusually aggressive tact from a First Amendment perspective, sending a cease-and-desist letter to the paper and warning about potentially filing a lawsuit.

“The lawyer, Ekwan Rhow, wrote it was ‘obvious’ the former (chief) executive (of Stiiizy) had leaked information, potentially from confidential arbitration proceedings, and warned he would sue The Times for defamation,” the newspaper wrote, noting that it hadn’t, in fact, spoken with the former executive.

It's yet another example of the lengths some groups will go to to attempt to suppress critical reporting—and how these hamfisted efforts can lead to more attention on these stories.

Read the article “Stiiizy’s founder built an L.A. cannabis empire, while being landlord to illegal dispensaries” on

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