The retail marijuana industry is beginning to resemble the established business world, including the need to sometimes take legal action.
A lawsuit filed in Thurston County Superior Court has two brothers suing another set of brothers over a Lacey pot business.
Andy and Mike Thielen — perhaps best known recently for their private liquor store on Plum Street in Olympia that also is home to a shooting range — allege breach of contract, among a number of complaints, after they apparently struck a business deal with Mike Taylor and Chris Taylor that did not go as planned.
The Taylors operate a retail pot business in Lacey called T-Brothers 502 Recreational.
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An attorney for the Thielens, John Kesler III, and the attorney for the Taylors, Lucas Michels, declined to comment Thursday.
According to the suit:
When it became clear that pot was going to be legalized in Washington state, the Thielens pursued a retail license, eventually securing “first place in the Lacey marijuana retail license lottery.”
After the results were made public, they were contacted by investors who were interested in going into business with them. A first round of negotiations did not pan out with one group, so they struck a “handshake” deal with the Taylor brothers in the following way: A payment of $225,000 from the Taylors — which the Thielens received — for the rights to their license, plus 5 percent of gross sales from the retail store.
The Taylors also would “take steps to ensure that the Thielen Brothers’ 5 percent interest in gross pot sales was tied to the license and would be transferred if the Taylors ever sold the license.”
The Taylors later drafted a letter of intent to memorialize the deal, the Thielens allege.
After they worked out their deal, it apparently fell apart due to some unspecified personal business.
“Chris Taylor stated to Andrew Thielen that payments due to the Thielens had been withheld because Mike Taylor was refusing to pay because his feelings were hurt over some unrelated personal business between himself and Mike Thielen.”
The Thielens allege that T-Brothers generated about $353,000 in pot sales between Oct. 30, 2015, and April 30, 2016, which means they are owed about $17,000 under the terms of their 5 percent deal.
The Thielens want the following: access to previously requested business records; dissolving and requiring liquidation and distribution of T-Brothers’ assets; and an order appointing a receiver of all the property and assets of T-Brothers.
Or: An order appointing a receiver to oversee the purchase or sale of either the Thielen brothers’ or Taylor brothers’ interests in the business, rescinding the agreement between the two parties, or enforcement of the agreement.