A local woman who says she co-founded Grover Beach cannabis dispensary 805 Beach Breaks is suing her former business partners, claiming they wrongfully denied her an ownership stake in the company.
Wendy Cronin alleges that she, Brian Touey, and Erich Haas together started 805 Beach Breaks back in 2016, which later opened as the first brick-and-mortar dispensary in San Luis Obispo County in 2018.
- File Photo By Jayson Mellom
- OWNERSHIP DISPUTE A San Luis Obispo County resident is suing her former business partners, claiming they denied her a stake in the Grover Beach cannabis dispensary, 805 Beach Breaks.
Her lawsuit claims that Cronin operated a medical cannabis collective in Atascadero that was used to obtain licenses for the dispensary, and that she created the company's name, was involved in completing the dispensary application that the Grover Beach City Council later approved, and was listed as an owner on multiple documents related to the establishment of the dispensary.
According to her lawsuit, in March 2018, Cronin learned that Touey had excluded her on a state license application, listing himself and Haas as 50-50 owners of the company. Touey later informed Cronin that "their partnership was done," according to the lawsuit. Cronin claims that "she wasn't paid for her work" to that point but was promised "sweat equity" in the business.
Cronin's suing Touey and Haas for fraud and conversion, among other allegations, in the complaint filed in SLO County Superior Court on Nov. 27.
"Ms. Cronin is taking civil action to obtain her rightful share of 805 Beach Breaks' profits and an injunction preventing her partners from taking further steps to remove her as an owner," Cronin's lawyer, Los Angeles cannabis attorney Allison Margolin, stated in a press release.
When reached by phone, Touey declined to comment. Haas' contact information was not listed in 805 Beach Breaks' license information.
Cronin's civil allegations come a few months after Touey faced a felony perjury charge related to cannabis activities in Santa Barbara County. As part of an agreement with the DA's Office, prosecutors dropped the charge. Touey reportedly surrendered some profits and a county cultivation license in the settlement.
Around the time of Touey's criminal case coming to an end in August, an Arizona-based cannabis company, Harvest Health & Recreation, announced it had bought 805 Beach Breaks.
"California is the largest cannabis market in the world, and with the acquisition of 805 Beach Breaks, we're thrilled to be expanding our presence and industry-leading operational and vertical integration standards across the state," a Harvest Health press release from Aug. 14 stated.
Touey wouldn't confirm or deny he had sold the business. Cronin's attorney, Margolin, said she'd seek to recoup money from any acquisition for Cronin as part of the litigation.
It's not the first time Cronin has aired grievances about her ownership dispute. Back in August 2018, she filed a claim with the city of Grover Beach for $15 million, saying her name was "improperly omitted from business permits."
Grover Beach did not file a formal response to Cronin's claim, "allowing the claim to be denied by operation of law," according to City Attorney David Hale.
"From our perspective, it's a private dispute," Hale told New Times. "The city doesn't feel there's any liability on our part whatsoever."