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Whistleblower Says Trulieve Employs Unethical Practices at Its Dispensaries

The multi-state operator comes under fire.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis & Tech Today

Cannabis multi-state operator (MSO) Trulieve (TCNNF) is under fire on social media after an employee allegedly leaked an internal document showing how the company's dispensaries operate.

T. Schneider | Shutterstock

Twitter user @EyesOnMJ posted a photo of a flow chart they allege Trulieve uses for training employees outlining how they rotate the highest THC batches to the back of the store and sell low-THC flower on the sales floor.

Because the higher THC product is displayed on Trulieve's website, all orders shipped to online customers would have to receive strains with those higher advertised THC levels.

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Why this matters

This means walk-in customers are getting the short end of the stick, according to the people who took to social media to protest the practice. Many customers are drawn to physical stores through the website, which misrepresents what is available at Trulieve's many locations throughout Florida, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland.

Customers are not informed that lower potency strains are featured in the front windows of dispensaries, raising questions about the ethics of the company.

Further, according to Reddit user Due_Paramedic_426, employees will often inform customers that a strain or brand they asked for is out of stock, when it is being reserved for online orders.

This less than transparent model could lead to patients and consumers losing faith in the corporate cannabis industry as a whole and urge potential buyers to go to the black market.

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Former employees speak out

A former Trulieve corporate employee, whom we confirmed but agreed not to identify by name, echoed some of the sentiments of social media users, telling Cannabis & Tech Today the company "does not walk the walk or talk the talk," and that they are aware of "several unethical business practices at the firm."

Multiple attempts to contact Trulieve continue to go unanswered.

Cannabis & Tech Today also spoke with original poster of the flow chart, Seth Gosnell, who was fired when the company learned of the disclosure. He alleges the Trulieve dispensary at which he worked leaves flower on shelves for up to a year.

"I told people to pay attention to the expiration dates on the labels because our expiration dates are set from one year and one month to the day of the harvest," he said. "So if you see something that expires August 17th, 2023, you know it was harvested sometime in July the previous year. There are a couple strains that we have at my location that are within 60 days of being one year old."

Other unethical and/or negligent practices include leaving patient information in plain view on the POS systems at the register, according to Gosnell.

"The people who monitor the cameras at Trulieve will definitely call the manager and tell them that the employees are sitting on their phones, but they won't report any HIPAA violations when they're blatantly happening," he said.

He also alleges cannabis at his former dispensary location could be mislabeled, stating strains he consumed on a regular basis suddenly had a different look and flavor profile.

"I would notice that there are certain strains that like would consistently have the same flavors or consistencies and then all of a sudden be almost a completely different color, taste, feel," he said.