Glass House Brands Faces New Legal Troubles Over Labor Violations

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LOS ANGELES – The California cultivator accused of fueling the illicit market in an ongoing legal battle is now facing a potential class-action lawsuit over alleged labor law violations at its Ventura County facilities.

The class-action suit, filed by a former employee in Los Angeles, accuses Glass House Brands Inc., several of its subsidiaries including Glass House Camarillo Cultivation, Mission Health Associates, GH Camarillo, Houweling’s Camarillo, and staffing agency Labor Force Management of engaging in a systematic pattern of wage violations.


Although the suit mentions Glass House Chief Executive Officer Kyle Kazan, he’s not listed as one of the defendants.

In addition to failing to pay wages, the lawsuit claims the defendants failed to provide meal breaks, rest periods, recovery or cool down periods in the heat, itemized wage statements, sick pay, overtime pay, reimbursements for business expenses, and other violations under the state’s quota and unfair-compensation laws.

The plaintiff, Gerardo Melendez, is seeking compensation for himself and others who’ve worked for Glass House during the past four years.

According to Melendez, each worker was expected to process four pounds of cannabis daily—roughly double the output of a skilled hand-trimmer, according to a Mobius case study. As a result of the unrealistic quotas, employees were unable to take lawful meal periods, rest periods, and bathroom breaks and were exposed to safety hazards while working overtime.

“Defendants knew or should have known they had a duty to compensate plaintiff and class members, and defendants had the financial ability to pay such compensation, but willingly, knowingly, and intentionally failed to do so in order to increase the defendants’ profits,” the suit states.”

The case, Melendez v. Glass House Camarillo Cultivation LLC et al, now waits for the court to decide if it warrants class-action status. 

Glass House also awaits resolution of dueling lawsuits over bold claims the company has been selling the majority of its flower through the illicit market in what’s known as a backdoor operation. California cannabis company Catalyst filed a lawsuit under the company name 562 Discount Med Inc. on June 6, accusing Glass House of being “one of the largest, if not the largest, black marketers of cannabis in the State of California, if not the country.”

Catalyst Chief Executive Officer Elliot Lewis has been anything but shy in discussing the subject, posting multiple videos on LinkedIn detailing his view of Glass House’s alleged misdeeds.

Glass House responded with a defamation lawsuit on June 20, claiming Catalyst and two of the company’s principals defamed Glass House by calling it “the biggest black marketeer in American history.”

562 Discount Med, Inc. vs. Glass House Brands Inc. is pending in Long Beach, California. The defamation case is listed as active in the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

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