Cannabis company sues Tennessee Titans' Julio Jones, others
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones is facing allegations of illegally harvesting and selling millions of dollars of cannabis in California, according to court records.
California-based cannabis company Genetixs filed the suit earlier this month against a handful of defendants including Jones, former Atlanta Falcons player Roddy White and White's company, SLW Holdings — one of the five entities that comprise Genetixs.
The complaint claims that the defendants failed to report cannabis sales since March, estimating that the defendants have harvested and sold $3 million worth of cannabis per month.
“The scope of said defendants’ theft, black-market sales, money laundering, and diversion of assets and expenses without documentation or approval, is staggering and has caused, and is causing, Genetixs substantial and irreparable harm and damage,” the 26-page lawsuit states.
An attorney representing Jones, White and SLW Holdings, described the allegations in the lawsuit as “conspiracy theories.”
“The vague allegations against SLW Holdings LLC and its members Roddy White and Julio Jones are meritless,” attorney Rafe Emanuel told The Tennessean. “In May, SLW obtained a temporary restraining order in a related civil case to prevent unlawful conduct involving Genetixs LLC. In reply, the defendants argued conspiracy theories that were not proven by evidence in court, nor were they substantiated before any agency."
A spokesperson for the Titans said the team was aware of the lawsuit but would not have any comment.
The lawsuit said that Jones and White worked with two other defendants to run a “black-market sales of cannabis" out of the Genetixs facility in Desert Hot Springs, California.
The complaint alleges Genetixs fired a manager in March after a state inspection of the Genetixs facility reported several violations. The complaint also says that the manager failed to report cannabis sales and refused to provide budgets and other business paperwork to Genetixs.
After the firing, Genetixs' complaint states, Jones, White and the others operated an “illegal black-market operation from the Genetixs Cannabis Facility to sell cannabis and misappropriate the illegal sales proceeds without reporting them.”
California broadly legalized recreational marijuana sales in January 2018. The lawsuit says the state requires businesses to use a “track-and-trace” system to record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the commercial supply chain.
Genetixs is licensed in California to sell cannabis, but the company says it now faces threat of losing that license because of the actions of Jones, White and other defendants.
Jones, 32, was traded to Tennessee in June. He left as the Falcons’ all-time leader in catches and receiving yards.