Galaxy S10 5G expected to launch on April 5
All the info you need Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything you need to know! Samsung’s 10th year of Galaxy flagships is something to behold. 22 Mar 2019 40 Every year, Samsung kicks off the year with its Galaxy S devices. These serve as a showcase of the very best that the company has to offer, and this year, we were treated to a total of three new devices with the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e.
Whether you’re looking for the latest news, want to know how the phones compare to other gadgets, need help finding a good case, or anything else in between, you’re in the right place. The latest Galaxy S10 news March 22, 2019 — Galaxy S10 5G expected to launch on April 5
While the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e have been available for purchase for two weeks, there’s still one version of the phone that we’re eagerly awaiting — the Galaxy S10 5G. Thankfully, it looks like our waiting may soon be over.
According to a report from The Korea Herald , Samsung will begin sales of the S10 5G in Korea starting on April 5. It’ll be sold at “Samsung outlets and its online mall as well as at shops of mobile carriers in Korea.”
Rather than having pre-orders for the phone, Samsung will instead offer promotions between April 5 and April 16 — allowing customers to get a a free pair of Galaxy Buds, a wireless charger, or 50% off a future screen replacement with their purchase.
Following the launch in Korea, it’s said that the Galaxy S10 5G will make its way to Verizon in the United States on April 11. March 8, 2019 — Galaxy S10 officially released, now comes with 6 months of Spotify Premium
After being available for pre-order since February 21, the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e are now all out of the pre-order stage and available for immediate purchase.
As we expected, this means that the previous pre-order bonus of getting a $130 gift certificate with your order is gone. In its place, Samsung is now offering 6 months of Spotify Premium for free.
While this is a nice promo, it’s worth noting that only new Spotify Premium customers can take advantage of it. If you’re currently subscribed to Premium or have done so in the past, you won’t be eligible. March 6, 2019 — iFixit gives the Galaxy S10 a repairability score of 3 out of 10
We all know that the Galaxy S10 is one gorgeous device, but as it turns out, that beauty comes at a cost.
iFixit recently published its full teardown of the Galaxy S10 and S10e and gave both phones a low repairability score of just 3 out of 10.
While iFixit did praise the S10 and S10e for requiring just one Philips screwdriver for removing all of the screws, it knocked both phones for having difficult battery and screen replacements.
Check out the full teardown March 4, 2019 — Galaxy S10 receives DisplayMate’s highest-ever grade
It’s no secret that the Galaxy S10’s display is one of the best around, but if you had any lingering doubts, DisplayMate’s recent analysis of it should put them to rest.
In DisplayMate’s review, the company said:
Even with our new tougher grading standards and new tests, the Galaxy S10 receives 100% All Green Very Good to Excellent Ratings in All Categories, earning DisplayMate’s highest ever A+ grade.
Furthermore, DisplayMate also went on to say that the Galaxy S10’s screen is “the most color accurate display” it’s ever tested.
Read DisplayMate’s full review March 1, 2019 — Netflix adds HDR support for the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e
Before the phones even officially hit store shelves, Netflix has already confirmed HDR support for the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e.
In other words, if you’re watching Netflix on one of Samsung’s new phones and the show is available in HDR, you’ll see it with brighter, more contrasty colors for an overall better experience.
We had no reason to believe the phones wouldn’t get HDR for Netflix, but it’s nice to get the confirmation nonetheless. February 28, 2019 — The Galaxy S10 and S10+ ship with a pre-installed screen protector
One of the most exciting features of the Galaxy S10 and S10+ is the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s hidden underneath their displays. We already knew that the ultrasonic tech would cause issues with third-party screen protectors, and in response to this, Samsung’s confirmed that both phones ship with a Samsung-made one pre-installed out of the box.
Per a post on the Samsung Members site :
Samsung’s upcoming new flagship Galaxy S10 will be shipped with factory pre-installed screen protector manufactured by Samsung. This is applicable for all global subsidiaries and for all variants of Galaxy S10. This decision was made to increase overall customer experiences with the improved screen durability and full functionality of the Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor on Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+.
The screen protectors come with a 90-day warranty, and if it ends up getting scratched, worn, or you simply want a back-up in case something happens, you’ll be able to buy additional ones for $29.99 CAD (around $20 USD). February 27, 2019 — Samsung now offering $130 gift certificate with Galaxy S10 pre-orders
Since pre-orders for the Galaxy S10 opened on February 21, Samsung’s been offering a promotion that allows you to grab a free pair of Galaxy Buds with your purchase. As of February 27, things have changed a bit.
Citing “high interest” in Galaxy S10 pre-orders, Samsung’s actually run out of Galaxy Buds supply and is now offering a $130 gift certificate when you buy the phone. The $130 credit can be used towards “select products” on Samsung.com and via the Shop Samsung app, and for some people, this may be an even more appealing deal. You can buy Galaxy Buds when they get back in stock, or put that $130 towards whatever else you want. Not too shabby.
See at Samsung February 21, 2019 — Galaxy S10 pre-orders are now live!
Eager to buy the Galaxy S10 for yourself? Good news — pre-orders are now live at Samsung and go through March 7. If you buy the phone before then, you’ll also be able to snag a pair of Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds completely free (a $130 value).
AT&T , T-Mobile , Sprint , and Verizon are all selling the phone, too.
On top of Samsung’s website and through carriers, you’ll also be able to purchase the Galaxy S10 from:
Watch: “Voice 3” Gears Up For May Premiere With First Thrilling Teaser
by J. Lim
The third season of OCN’s “Voice” has released a trailer as they gear up for a May premiere!
OCN’s new weekend drama “Voice 3” will be a thriller that follows the story of a 112 emergency call center employees. The drama has been captivating viewers with its unique concept of tackling voice profiling, and is ready to start a third season. The second season set a new record for OCN drama viewership ratings, hitting an average of 7.1 percent and peaking at 7.6 percent.
On March 22, the drama released a teaser that recapped how the second season ended. Bang Je Soo ( Kwon Yool ) can be heard saying, “Kang Kwon Joo ( Lee Ha Na ) will die,” and she sounds taken aback as she says, “I think someone’s messing with us.” Shocked, Do Kang Woo ( Lee Jin Wook ) shouts, “Get out of there right now!” However, a bomb detonates and the final shots of the teaser are of Kang Kwon Joo on the floor, opening her eyes as a voice says, “Kang Kwon Joo, wake up.” The teaser also includes the phrase, “May 2019, the golden time that had stopped will start again.”
“Voice 3” will follow the story of voice profiler Kang Kwon Joo and detective Do Kang Woo as they fight against a supranational cartel that is behind a string of cyber crimes. However, Kang Kwon Joo is struggling with her hearing taking a hit from the explosion and Do Kang Woo is fighting his own inner demons, piquing curiosity for what will come in the upcoming season.
The staff explained, “We will be bringing viewers a sense of catharsis with episodes that deal with subjects that can only be found in the ‘Voice’ series. We will show the dangers of crimes that occur around us and highlight the importance of golden time once more. We’re working hard to film the drama, and we will return in May.”
“Voice 3” will be directed by Nam Ki Hoon, who also worked on “Beauty Inside” and “Tunnel,” and screenwriter Ma Jin Won will return to pen the script. The drama is set to air in May.
Enjoy the series by watching the first season below!
How get a £15 FREE takeaway PIZZA from Papa Johns, Domino’s, Just Eat or Pizza Hut this weekend
Sun Savers GRUBS UP How get a £15 FREE takeaway PIZZA from Papa Johns, Domino’s, Just Eat or Pizza Hut this weekend
All you need to do is sign up to cashback website Quidco, make an order, and then wait for the money to be refunded By Alice Grahns, Digital Consumer Reporter 22nd March 2019, 2:47 pm Updated: 22nd March 2019, 2:48 pm FOODIES can currently get a £15 takeaway pizza from Papa Johns, Domino’s, Just Eat or Pizza Hut for free through cashback.
All you need to do is sign up to cashback website Quidco, make an order, and then wait for the money to roll into your bank account. Getty – Contributor 1 You can get a free food worth £15 through cashback website Quidco
If you’re not a pizza fan, you can actually get £15 in cashback on any type of takeaway meal, as long as you order it from the mentioned providers.
To get the cashback you need to spend at least £10, excluding any delivery charges.
The new offer is available until December 31, or until 1,000 bonuses have been claimed, whichever’s first – so it’s best to be quick.
Sadly, the deal’s only available to new Quidco customers and it can also only be redeemed once per household. How to get £15 bonus cashback
To get the offer, you need to: Follow this link to Quidco’s website and sign up Visit the takeaway category on the website Make your order and enjoy the food Wait for the £15 to be refunded into your bank account
You’ll then see the £15 bonus cashback refunded into your bank account around a week after the cashback website has confirmed you made the order.
You can withdraw the money from your account as long as you’ve got more than £1 in there.
If you want to read the full terms and conditions of the deal, you should head to Quidco’s website . How to get cashback every time you shop NOT using a cashback site or app means you are missing out every time you shop. Here are full-time bargain hunter Collette Jones’ best tips. Check out welcome offers: Cashback sites have amazing freebies for new customers, such as a takeaway from Just Eat or a Benefit beauty product Look for cashback on everything: You can claim on things such as MOTs, insurance, train tickets and holidays Save money at the supermarket: It’s a good idea to download apps Shopmium, Check-outSmart, Quidco ClickSnap, GreenJinn and TopCashback’s Snap and Save. Check out what is available, pick it up in-store and upload a photo of the receipt to get your cashback Combine cashback offers with promotions: Double savings and maximise cashback by matching third-party offers from cashback sites with in-store and online promotions. You can’t always use discount codes with cashback, but you can take advantage of sales and offers such as free gifts Download cashback notifiers: The website Honey has a great notifier. It sits in your browser, pops up when you click on a website that offers cashback and searches voucher codes Most read in money
A Week On From The Christchurch Attack, Solidarity Is The Antidote To Race Hate
Australia Brasil Canada Deutschland España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb México Québec (en français) South Africa United Kingdom United States THE BLOG 22/03/2019 11:14 GMT | Updated 22/03/2019 11:15 GMT A Week On From The Christchurch Attack, Solidarity Is The Antidote To Race Hate Denialism undermines our collective efforts to face down racism in all its forms – New Zealand shows we need international anti-racist solidarity 838 Baroness Chakrabarti Labour peer and Shadow Attorney General SIPA USA/PA Images Today is one week since the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Once more Muslims and Jews the world over will assemble in prayer. Grief and recovery are surely partly about marking minutes, hours, days, weeks and years. It is also I think, about forging something new, strong, positive and enduring after the devastation.
My mother died suddenly in late July of 2011. It was the same weekend that a “far-right extremist” (for want of better imperfect words) slew dozens of young Labour activists in Norway. Before the killer was identified, much of the public and media speculation had assumed a ‘jihadist’, ‘Islamist’ or even (in that obvious abuse of language) ‘Islamic’ attack.
Last Christmas Eve, we lost my dad. The loss was equally sudden but now sparking even greater cause for reflection. My parents came to Britain sixty years ago, in no small part prompted by sights of anti-Muslim violence in their first home country of India. Culturally Hindu, their British Rule of Law ideal would in time be tainted by the casual and even violent racism that they themselves endured. Still, they never gave up on other people of all faiths and none, nor on the universal values that they left to their now middle-aged daughter. They would have been scared and horrified by the latest atrocity on the other side of the world. Yet as citizens of everywhere and never “nowhere” , they would have been heartened, I have no doubt, by the global moral leadership demonstrated by New Zealand’s young female prime minister, Jacinda Ardern: “We cannot think about this in terms of boundaries… We are one, they are us.”
Globalisation, migration and the internet renders these inspiring sentiments equally irrefutable logic. Yet there are ‘boundaries’ other than international ones that must be defied if Ardern’s worldwide anti-racist rallying cry has any hope of becoming a reality.
The walls that I have in mind are those between different ‘peoples’ and political factions. Isn’t it high time that leaders came together to tackle racism in all its forms? Racism is structural and institutional, requiring an approach which seeks change on this scale. Responsibility for this needs to be demonstrated not just by political leaders but by mainstream media outlets who have played a role in normalising racist discourse. Surely, we can all recognise that there is but one human race, no sensible competition for pain nor virtue, and no hierarchy of racism?
We know how difficult defining racism in all its nuances can be. On the one hand it should not even require definition. On the other hand, it’s important to try and identify some of the tropes and excuses that hate hides behind. This week Labour adopted a simple, helpful and widely supported definition of Islamophobia and I call upon all mainstream democratic political groupings in the UK to consider doing the same. It describes this form of hate as “rooted in racism”, hence calling out the widely promoted conceit that pedlars of anti-Muslim bile are somehow all about a theological critique against a racially diverse religious community.
Race hate is ignorant and powerful, designed to divide and rule – and you don’t need to have a “funny tinge” to be its recipient. The white headscarf-wearing Muslim woman who receives abuse on a ‘western’ street is no less the victim of racism than her Jewish, Afro-Caribbean or Asian sister in these dangerously febrile times. And the pedlars of conspiracies, hate and bullets are surprisingly liberal in their choice of targets.
The antidote is as simple, if nonetheless occasionally difficult as the diagnosis. It is resisting partisan temptations to ignore our own flaws while magnifying those of opponents; and recognising that denialism undermines our collective efforts to face down racism in all its forms. It is ensuring that any international anti-racist coalition spans the democratic spectrum and provides people of all faiths and origins with a place in all democratic traditions.
It is the Christian man, who at last Friday’s prayers, kept watch outside the Manchester mosque with the homemade sign saying, “you are my friends…” It’s the rabbi who broke Shabbat to attend the New Zealand High Commission vigil and the many other rabbis who have offered their solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters in their own vulnerable moments of worship. Solidarity is a good old-fashioned word that is coming back into fashion in circles of the left and way beyond. Call it fellowship. Call it ummah . I think of it as love.
Baroness Chakrabarti is the shadow Attorney General and a Labour peer
Related… New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Won’t Say Gunman’s Name Viral Hero ‘Egg Boy’ To ‘Donate £45k To New Zealand Victims’ My Cousin Was Killed At Christchurch – His Death Reminds Me We Don’t Talk Enough About Muslim Victims Of Terror
These are the hidden titans of Mass. marijuana – The Boston Globe
Comment on this SPOTLIGHT You can’t own more than three pot shops, but these companies are testing the limit — and bragging about it By Beth Healy, Dan Adams, Nicole Dungca, Andrew Ryan, Todd Wallack and editor Patricia Wen of the Spotlight Team. This story was written by Healy. March 21, 2019 First in a series.
Robert Leidy, scion of a wealthy Palm Beach family, struck a serious pose that night before officials in the small town of Athol.
In a dark suit and tie, he fixed his gaze on a careful script. There was no mention of the deep-pocketed investors backing him or the fishing yacht his company, Sea Hunter Therapeutics, was named after. Leidy talked about his lofty mission: to help a nonprofit business grow marijuana in an old tool mill there, and sell the product at its stores to people suffering from illness.
“Our passion is to enhance the quality of life for so many living in pain,” Leidy said. Advertisement
But in his focus on the healing qualities of marijuana, Leidy offered little about the company’s actual, larger ambition. Despite the high-minded speech that October night in 2017, Sea Hunter had largely taken over operations of the nonprofit, Herbology Group, as part of a much broader strategy to capitalize on the state’s new recreational pot market and become a dominant player in Massachusetts and beyond.
In a state where no firm is legally permitted to own — or control — more than three stores that sell recreational pot, Sea Hunter is poised to test that limit. It has boasted to investors that it operates or has significant power over a dozen or more marijuana retail licenses. But you won’t see the name “Sea Hunter” on the shops; instead, they will carry names like Herbology, Verdant, and Ermont. The only company that Sea Hunter Therapeutics acknowledges owning is Commonwealth Alternative Care, which has a store in Taunton (above) and plans to open stores in Cambridge’s Inman Square and Brockton. Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Sea Hunter, along with a large rival called Acreage Holdings, is using complex corporate structures to acquire or manage store licenses from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, commanding high-interest loans and strict management contracts as they become quiet titans of Massachusetts marijuana.
Their aggressive growth plans are not just pushing the limits built into the state law, but may be busting them entirely. Their early moves also threaten the state’s promise to not just legalize recreational marijuana but to make the marketplace for the drug a fair one in which diversity of ownership is prized and small players have a chance.
Massachusetts, in short, had hoped to get legalization right. But out of the gate, that dream faces an existential threat, the Spotlight Team has found. Advertisement
Of the 12 recreational shops that have opened so far here, all but two are owned by or have ties to large, out-of-state investors or multistate operators. Meanwhile, out of more than 120 applicants approved for a state program aimed at helping startups from minority and disadvantaged communities, not one has opened yet, largely due to a lack of funding.
The chairman of the state board in charge of regulating the marijuana industry says he’s not aware of any license-limit violations at this time.
“You can’t control more than three licenses, whether it’s direct or indirect, through subsidiaries or holding companies or shadow companies,” said Steven Hoffman in an interview at the Cannabis Control Commission offices this week.
Hoffman, a former partner at Bain & Co., said he also wasn’t aware of companies openly bragging to investors about controlling up to four times the number of licenses legally allowed here.
“If somebody says they’re controlling 12 licenses in Massachusetts, that’s really a stupid thing to say in a public document,” he said, “because they’re not going to be able to go forward.” Advertisement
Both Sea Hunter and Acreage downplay with state and local officials their expansion plans here, insisting that companies in their network are independent operators and not under their control in the meaning of the law.
While Sea Hunter and its affiliated companies continue to pursue licenses in Massachusetts, Alexander Coleman, chief executive of the Cambridge-based firm, told the Globe that Sea Hunter is moving to become more of a technology and service provider in the cannabis industry than a national retail giant.
Acreage’s chief executive, Kevin Murphy, declined a request for an interview through a spokesman. The company’s president, George Allen, last year told the Globe that the company stays within Massachusetts law in its relationship with affiliated companies. “We don’t have a controlling relationship,” he said.
It’s hard to blame investors for seeing a big opportunity in pot. Since recreational marijuana became lawful here, two more states have jumped on the bandwagon, making 10 in all, and there is talk of federal legalization, as early as this year. Sea Hunter and other large companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of this booming new market, projected to generate $80 billion in annual revenue nationally by 2030.
It is a gold rush moment, infused with a giddy end-of-Prohibition fervor. And if, given the high stakes, the desire for market dominance is understandable, the financial muscle and savvy of the big players have so far effectively shredded state lawmakers’ vision of a recreational pot business that would create opportunities for ordinary people.
“When the big boys come in, it’s hard to compete. Now it’s big money, that’s the way it works,’’ said Alexander Eriksen, a former Massachusetts businessman who founded Verdant Medical Inc., a startup cannabis company, in 2016. Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman and Commissioner Shaleen Title at a public meeting on draft regulations for the pot industry. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
He said he was growing lettuce for $10 a pound in Millis, but realized marijuana could fetch $4,000 a pound. He wanted in, and became convinced of the medical benefits for some: “It can do amazing things for people.” So he poured $650,000 and two years of work into the venture before deciding he couldn’t afford to wait out all the state and city red tape. “I gave it up to Sea Hunter,” he said, to get out of debt and move on.
“You have to spend $1 million just to get an approval” from regulators, he said. “It’s very hard for regular people.”
It’s all happening so fast that small operators could scarcely get a toehold in the business before the big money arrived.
That’s true even in a state that had sought to put fairness — including social and racial equity — at the center of its cannabis rollout. Massachusetts lawmakers limited the number of licenses any single company could control. And they were first in the nation to include in the law a head start for small and minority applicants who wanted to become business owners, mindful that so many black and Latino people once faced criminal charges over minor marijuana infractions when the drug was illegal. The National Cannabis Industry Association Seed to Sale convention was held last month at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
But state policy makers failed to foresee just how hard it would be to control giant investors, often aided by well-paid lobbyists and lawyers, in a field that now has its own Marijuana Index to track the biggest cannabis companies in North America.
The marijuana industry naturally favors deep-pocketed players because traditional loans are almost impossible to get. The drug remains illegal at the federal level, so most banks don’t want to take the risk of lending to pot companies. As a result, some small entrepreneurs are being drawn into the arms of giants, with terms that some say are predatory and make it hard to succeed. Some are effectively signing away much of their autonomy to run their startups, with little to no oversight by state regulators at the Cannabis Control Commission.
State Senator Patricia Jehlen, a Somerville Democrat who was part of the state’s Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, said the goal in setting license limits was to avoid a big-tobacco scenario, with a few giant brands dominating the scene. “The law was intended to create a system where Massachusetts residents could benefit from the new industry,” as owners, she said.
The battle for dominance in the state is a microcosm of what’s happening across the country, with national marijuana companies challenging rules in order to grab market share.
Several firms, for instance, have publicly claimed they have multiple stores in Maryland, where companies are only legally allowed to own one. iAnthus says it operates three stores it doesn’t own through management agreements.
The city of Los Angeles also bars entities from owning more than three licenses. Yet MedMen Enterprises operates five stores there under its brand. The company says two of those stores are owned by an investment fund, also based at MedMen’s headquarters.
“We play by the rules,” MedMen chief executive Adam Bierman said in an interview. But in New York, where MedMen has already maxed out at four stores, his company’s pending acquisition of PharmaCann would double that number to eight, testing the regulations. Officials are reviewing the deal.
“It’s a first,” Bierman said. “So the regulator has to figure out how they want to deal with this and they’ll set a precedent for going forward.”
RELATED: Beyond Massachusetts, states struggle to limit marijuana behemoths
Testing the legal bounds
In Massachusetts, a company can own or control a maximum of three stores that sell both recreational and medical marijuana. (Alternatively, firms can have three stores of each type, though few, if any, intend to sell only to the medical market.) Regulators define control as, among other things, the ability to veto significant events in a business operation.
Sea Hunter and Acreage both deny that they are bending or breaking the rules. But their security filings and investor pitches, reviewed by the Globe, raise legal questions.
Sea Hunter raised $250 million from investors last year and went public on a Canadian stock exchange, creating a Vancouver parent company called TILT Holdings Inc. Its founders, including Leidy and Coleman, are linked by blood or marriage to the Lilly Pulitzer family of fashion and publishing fortunes.
Acreage, of New York, claims to be the largest cannabis purveyor in the nation, and drew national media attention when it appointed as directors former Massachusetts governor and potential presidential candidate William F. Weld and John Boehner, a former House speaker.
Both companies are run by private equity and investment veterans; both have publicly traded stocks, with hundreds of millions of dollars at their fingertips. And both have offered investor pitches that seem to look right past Massachusetts license limits.
Sea Hunter and Acreage are trying to multiply the “rule of three” out over a much larger network. They have been buying or backing a series of businesses that each, in turn, is seeking to control up to three licenses.
Sea Hunter and its affiliated companies have just two stores open so far, a medical dispensary in Quincy and one in Taunton, along with pot-growing facilities at each. But it is shepherding at least 11 more retail locations through the licensing pipeline, under five different company names. Marijuana plants in a grow room in Quincy operated by Ermont, one of a handful of companies with financial ties to Sea Hunter Therapeutics. Adam Glanzman/New York Times/File
Among those are Verdant Medical, now being run by former Boston city councilor and onetime mayoral candidate Tito Jackson, with Sea Hunter appointees on the board. Another is the Herbology Group, the company that Sea Hunter pitched in Athol, a site the company ultimately abandoned in favor of other opportunities.
This approach to growing market share appears to violate the spirit of the law, according to rivals frustrated to be hemmed in by rules while some outliers seem to plow through them.
Some state officials want enforcement of this law to be a priority.
“In order for all the small businesses to have a chance, the opposite side of that coin is, no one can dominate it,” said Shaleen Title, another member of the Cannabis Control Commission. “No one needs to dominate it.”
To pot entrepreneurs considering joining Sea Hunter’s network, the company typically offers loans of at least $1 million, at interest rates of 14 percent or more, according to interviews and contracts reviewed by the Globe. The outlets usually rent their real estate from Sea Hunter and are often required to buy as much as 85 percent of their product from them as well. Some are required to pay out 70 percent of their cash flow until their loans are paid off. And if they want to sell their startups, Sea Hunter retains a right of first refusal. Former Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson now heads Verdant Medical, a part of Sea Hunter’s network that hopes to open stores in Provincetown, Rowley, and Mattapan. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe
“These terms are extremely onerous in my opinion,’’ said Todd Dagres, a veteran venture capitalist in Boston and founder of Spark Capital, which so far is not in the marijuana business. “They are reflective of a lopsided financial relationship in which the founder has no leverage.”
With control of the loan, the lease, and the product sourcing, Dagres said, “I would worry about the lender in situations like this being the real owner, and the supposed owner being more of a front person.”
Coleman, 52, the head of Sea Hunter, denies this. He said owners are getting fair terms and have the freedom to negotiate how much product they buy from his company. He also denies that the loan agreements, and relationships with far more than three marijuana locations, amount to his company controlling more entities than are allowed under state law.
“That’s not our business model,” Coleman said.
He said Sea Hunter owns only one company outright, Commonwealth Alternative Care in Cambridge, and the three licenses under that umbrella, located in Cambridge, Taunton, and Brockton. The heads of other companies affiliated with Sea Hunter also each asserted to the Globe they will be sole “owners” of their firms, Verdant, Ermont, and Herbology.
But financial documents, e-mails, and interviews with people familiar with Sea Hunter’s operations show the company has significant financial and managerial control over its affiliates.
The company said as much in a November stock filing with Canadian securities regulators. Sea Hunter’s parent, TILT, in the disclosure said it had “the power to direct activities” at the Massachusetts marijuana companies.
Chief executives and chief financial officers of public companies in Canada — and the United States — are required to sign off on such financial filings.
But Coleman told the Globe that the document is inaccurate.
“I don’t know who was involved, it predates our CFO,” Coleman said. “The way they came to this is deathly wrong.” He acknowledged that as chief executive it’s his responsibility to review the filings.
He likewise sought to distance Sea Hunter from its claims to investors about millions of dollars in acquisitions and its control of marijuana companies, attributing them to a memo he said was sloppily written in the rush to grow the business.
“I mean look, struggling to raise capital, you really don’t spend a lot of time on the nuances,” he said.
Coleman said the company is focused today on providing technology services to more than 1,000 marijuana locations across the country and laying the groundwork to become wholesalers of pot.
Acreage Holdings uses some of the same tactics as Sea Hunter, but appears to be pursuing a larger retail profile.
Acreage’s chief executive, Kevin Murphy, 58, who is from Madison, Conn., and attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, has said he believes “deeply in the potential for cannabis to heal and change the world.” In January, he landed an interview on CNBC at Davos, the big World Economic Forum where the financial and political elite mingle. And in March, he appeared with Boehner at South by Southwest, the Austin music mega-festival, arguing that Congress should make recreational marijuana use legal nationally. Acreage’s chief executive Kevin Murphy (left) and former US House speaker John Boehner shared a stage during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin this month. Nicola Gell/Getty Images for SXSW
The company touts a presence in 19 states, and two dozen stores. Its strategy of expansion in Massachusetts seems to follow a similar playbook to Sea Hunter’s. Acreage admits direct ownership of just three stores, under the brand The Botanist, and says its relationship to nine others is through management contracts and loans.
Murphy gave only a written statement through a spokesman in response to the Globe’s request to interview him on licensing issues in Massachusetts.
“We are privileged to serve the citizens of Massachusetts, enabling access to safe, affordable cannabis to those who want or need it and in accordance with the state’s regulations,” it read.
Beyond The Botanist, the Globe learned of three other entities in Acreage’s network. One is Mass Medi-Spa, whose pitched battle to win a license on Nantucket shows how money is being thrown around in this arena.
In hours of hearings before the island’s town officials, representatives described Mass Medi-Spa as an independent nonprofit, with local board members and an arms-length relationship to Acreage. Documents reviewed by the Globe show a loan of up to $8 million from an Acreage subsidiary to the company, at a 15 percent interest rate, and involvement in virtually every aspect of the dispensary’s operation, from construction and hiring to public relations.
On the other side of the Nantucket license contest was ACK Natural, led in part by Boston hedge fund manager Douglas Leighton. The group has touted its dedication to Nantucket nonprofits, culture, and natural beauty. Both groups have spent months vying to be seen as the more local operator.
It is a battle that could have been over before it started. In December, just before the public showdown began, Leighton and Acreage’s Murphy had an intriguing private e-mail correspondence, copies of which were obtained by the Globe.
“Hi Kevin — While Nantucket may not be a big deal to you, it is to us,” Leighton wrote. He said ACK was in a strong position to win the license. But for $15 million, “We are willing to sell to you and move out of the way.”
Acreage didn’t bite, so the fight continued. But this week, Nantucket officials awarded the license to ACK Natural; it is unclear if Acreage will appeal.
In an earnings call with analysts earlier in March, Murphy declared, “The race to be the Coca-Cola of cannabis is just beginning.”
How the big firms rolled through
The early days of legal marijuana look quaint by comparison to the competitive ferocity of today. Just seven years ago, activists pushed through a ballot initiative to allow the medical use of cannabis. In those days, activists and regulators alike were careful not to raise alarms that they were promoting recreational use of marijuana, still seen by some as a gateway drug.
The ballot question, and the Department of Public Health regulations that followed, were crafted to appeal in a region known for its health care offerings. Nearly everyone could summon a story of a friend or loved one who’d suffered from cancer or other ailments that might have been eased by cannabis.
“The idea was, write it so that it’s appealing,” said Jack Corrigan, a lawyer and former Dukakis administration staffer who helped write the 2012 ballot question. “It evokes a sympathy for the patients,” he said.
To further smooth the path for pot, these new medical marijuana businesses were structured as nonprofits under state law. This was a way to mollify federal prosecutors, making them less likely to go after medical marijuana sellers, Corrigan said. It was also a way to make the legal sale of drugs more palatable to voters and lawmakers. One of a number of marijuana products offered at a Taunton location by Commonwealth Alternative Care, which also hopes to open stores in Cambridge and Brockton. Barry Chin/Globe Staff
But the nonprofit model turned out to be deeply flawed when it came to marijuana.
For one thing, it cost millions to get medical dispensaries going, and the nature of the product made it hard to raise money from conventional sources. Applicants had to show they had $500,000 available just to file initial papers. So cannabis entrepreneurs had to mortgage their homes and raise money from friends, family, and other nonbank lenders, often at interest rates as high as 18 percent.
And there was a mistaken notion in the rule-writing that no one would seek to earn profits from these companies. Officers and directors were not supposed to benefit from them. Who was going to take such a big risk with so little chance for gain?
So companies immediately looked for ways around the rules, creating for-profit entities linked to the nonprofits — an approach that Sea Hunter and Acreage have continued to use in some cases.
Jack Hudson launched Ermont of Quincy in 2013 by cobbling together loans from 20 different lenders, at rates of up to 18 percent, plus a significant amount of his own cash. Eventually, the debt burden became too great. Hudson turned to Sea Hunter, which paid $15 million to repay the company’s lenders and has taken on management duties, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal.
Hudson blamed the early nonprofit design in Massachusetts for pushing out local operators.
“When I was looking for lenders, because no one could buy a piece of a nonprofit, you ended up with high-interest loans,” he said. “For some of us, it was incredibly difficult.”
State regulators stopped requiring the problematic nonprofit structure in 2017. But Sea Hunter and Acreage have continued to use that status for some associated companies, enjoying the public-relations advantages of nonprofits. The structure also has helped obscure their financial grip on the firms.
“We never bought Ermont,” Coleman said, phrasing his response carefully. “We bought the debt. We really refinanced the debt and we inherited a management contract.”
Now a new owner is making a go of the business, with loans from Sea Hunter.
Confusion of local officials
The major players in this new big business operate nationally, but here, as ever in Massachusetts, all politics is local.
Municipal officials — whose approval is mandatory before companies can seek a state license — have a lot to sort through when it comes to marijuana applications. With the hope of new jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue at stake, planning and zoning officials juggle the details of parking, security, and keeping drugs away from kids. They are rarely in a position to see through the opaque corporate relationships of those seeking their approval.
At a Shrewsbury planning board meeting in February, town officials expected to hear from a company called Prime Wellness Centers Inc., working its way through the system to open a marijuana store there.
But the businessman who settled in at the hearing table was not the person they knew from a prior hearing.
One planning member asked the obvious question: “Who are we dealing with?”
The man at the hearing table, Scott Rudy, turned out to be an Acreage executive.
“We’ve acquired the license — Acreage Holdings,” he said, adding, “We operate under the name The Botanist here in Massachusetts.”
Confusion over that name change ran even deeper in Worcester, which has been deluged by applications from 46 different marijuana-related businesses. Deputy City Solicitor Jennifer H. Beaton learned of the name change when she read about it in the newspaper.
That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Marijuana license holders are legally required to notify local officials before transferring a license. Beaton said the city is working with The Botanist’s lawyer to update their agreement, which had pledged annual tax payments of at least $120,000. Technically, the store should not be operating without an up-to-date host agreement, but Acreage skipped that step.
Companies failing to make such disclosures, with little to no enforcement by the state, are leaving towns and cities in the dark.
“It’s a big burden, one that we take seriously,’’ said Jacob Sanders, who handles intergovernmental affairs for the City of Worcester. “At the end of the day, our hope and expectation is that the Cannabis Control Commission is going to serve as the governing body that’s going to help municipalities.” Get Today’s Headlines in your inbox: The day’s top stories delivered every morning. Enter email address: Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Sign up to get the rest in this series from The Spotlight Team
Beth Healy can be reached at Any tips and comments can also be sent to the Spotlight Team at or by calling 617-929-7483 Loading comments…