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The SEC’s Temporary Suspension Of Marijuana Company, CannaBusiness Group, LLC Trading

Marijuana is still an illegal substance in a number of states (and on the federal level.) But with the increased evidence of medical benefits, many states have begun legalization for medical use. Some, like California and Colorado, have also legalized it for recreational use. Companies are now looking for ways to cash in on this new “green” industry, from growing to manufacturing and processing, as well as associated industries like equipment, real estate and legal services.

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Gary-Eugene-Donovan-for-Stock-Manipulation-300x200One company that began dealing with acquiring and leasing land for growing marijuana is CannaBusiness Group out of California. CannaBusiness was founded in 1985, and became a publicly traded company (CBGI) in 2005. CannaBusiness is in the business of the marijuana industry support services, not growing, harvesting and processing. However, the company seems to have fallen off the radar.

According to the company’s Facebook page and other pages that discuss it, CannaBusiness is about “real estate acquisition, leasing, and management firm whose primary focus is on zoning issues.”  Calling itself “services for the medical marijuana industry,” the description includes that the company has: “also developed an acquisition plan to acquire companies that sell products and services to include security services, e-commerce store fronts for both grow and dispensary operations, technology solutions, software solutions, and miscellaneous solutions. It is actively involved in the capitalization, development and acquisition of marijuana based consumer products as well as the supporting technologies.”

As a publicly traded company, CannaBusiness also sells stock in its company. But on May 7, 2014, the SEC suspended the company’s trading, and allowed it to resume on May 21, 2014. In a statement, the SEC explains that there were questions about the company and the information that was publicly disseminated about its operations. Trading has resumed.

Just days before, the company issued a press released about its Pwifi USA, a private communications channel that allows a company to insert ads and other messages into the browsers of anyone using the WiFi network to surf the web. The press release states that CannaBusiness would retain the rights to Pwifi USA for its customers.

CannaBusiness also acquired ownership in National Security Solutions and in Norcal, a subsidiary of the company.

It’s unclear where CannaBusiness is located; the SEC statement lists the company as being in Irvine, California, while their Facebook page says Vacaville. Reuters lists their address as 27758 Santa Margarita Pkwy, #141, Mission Viejo.

The company’s website, thecannabusinessgroup.com, and two phone numbers attributed to the company, are no longer operational. While there is still a Facebook page, it hasn’t been updated since 2014, when CBGL resumed trading, and the CEO Michael Cummings resigned, replaced by Jeff Jiron. Several people have posted on the FB page, asking if the company is still in business, the latest in 2016.

Some investors may see “pot stocks” as the new “gold rush,” and want to get in at the front end. The SEC cautions investors not to jump into marijuana-related investments without due diligence.

There are many ways to legitimately invest in the burgeoning cannabis industry. As with any industry, there are also individuals masquerading as brokers who would like to sell you a bridge. You can investigate someone selling or recommending an investment at Investor.Gov, and find out if they are legitimate, or if they’ve been barred from working as an investment professional. (You can also visit FINRA’s BrokerCheck website to look up an individual or company.)

Considering Cannabis?

Our cannabis attorneys are seeing a rise in litigation. Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida, and represent investors nationwide to help recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct and other investment-related wrongdoing.  Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis. This means that you won’t any pay legal fees unless we are successful. Call us toll free at 800-975-4345, or use our online contact form to get in touch.

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