Nikki Fried’s Net Worth Increases 416%, Tied to Former Cannabis Exec

Nikki Fried’s Net Worth Increases 416%, Tied to Former Cannabis Exec

Based on financial disclosure forms filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics, the net worth of Nikki Fried -Florida’s recently elected Agriculture Commissioner – increased by $1,129,950 in one year.

Fried’s net worth increased from $271,613, reported on June 18, 2018, to $1,401,563, reported on June 24, 2019. This is a 416% increase.

Fried officially announced her candidacy for Agriculture Commissioner in June 2018, she was elected to her current position on November 6, 2018 and was sworn into office on January 8, 2019.

The increase in personal net worth has occurred despite less than a $45,000 increase in her reported annual salary. In 2018, Fried reported a salary of $84,000 for her work as a lobbyist for the marijuana industry. As Agriculture Commissioner, her salary is now listed as $128,972.

The obvious question, given the jump in her net worth, is where did the “new money” originate.

The Communications Department within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services referred questions about Fried’s personal financial disclosure to her political consultant Ben Pollara.

Mr. Pollara emailed TR the following statement:

“Since she last publicly disclosed her assets to the state, Nikki jointly purchased a home in Tallahassee with her significant other, Jake Bergmann, as well as placed all outstanding receivables from her private consulting firm into a blind trust that she has no direct or indirect control over. Nikki’s cash assets and liabilities – including nearly $80,000 in student loan debt – have remained virtually unchanged.”

Sources of Net Worth Increase

Property Purchase

The majority of the Fried’s net worth increase is tied to a $701,000 home that was purchased in Tallahassee, Fl. TR recovered a deed for the property, dated February 2, 2019, that shows the grantors as “Jake Bergmann and Nicole Fried as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.”

Fried show no debt associated with the property on her financial disclosure form.

Mr. Bergmann resigned as the CEO of Surterra when Fried won the general election due to their personal relationship which reportedly began around January, 2018.

Surterra is one of the largest cannabis companies in Florida. In August 2018, Surterra raised $65 million including an investment from William Wrigley Jr, who is now Chairman of the Board.

Based on media reports, Bergmann still has an interest in Surterra.

When asked in February, 2019 about the potential conflict, Fried told a Florida Trend reporter that she has “no allegiances to any company. My allegiances are to the state of Florida and to the patients.”

Fried, in her position as Agriculture Commissioner, has taken several actions related to the cannabis industry.

In February 2019, Fried announced the appointment of Holly Bell as the Director of Cannabis. It was reported Bell’s role as Director of Cannabis will be to oversee the development of rules, work directly with scientific experts, and ensure Fried’s vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward.

In June 2019, Fried released the names she chose to serve on the newly created Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, which she said will “help improve the state’s medical marijuana policies.”

Blind Trust

Fried created a blind trust in January 2019. The 2019 financial disclosure lists the value of the blind trust as $360,588.

Based on Pollara’s comments, the bulk of this trust includes “all outstanding receivables from her private consulting firm.” These receivables do not appear to be listed on any of Fried’s financial disclosure forms.

The Tampa Bay Times reported in March 2019 that Fried refused to discuss what assets were in the blind trust.


Fried’s reporting of cash on hand increased by 209% from the $79,637 reported in 2018 to $246,154 reported in 2019.

Pollara stated that the increase in cash was from Fried’s closing of the Igniting Florida, LLC.

Tallahassee Reports will continue to seek more details on the sources of income driving Fried’s 416% increase in net worth.

29 Responses to "Nikki Fried’s Net Worth Increases 416%, Tied to Former Cannabis Exec"

  1. Now it makes sense she wants to lower the thc levels so patients have to buy way more cannibis lol she is a genius. Only problem is she is an EVIL genius. She is dangerous for Florida she needs to be voted out ASAP.
    total criminal activity with trusts abd other business entities. She thinks she is slick.

  2. The numbers don’t seem to add up in several areas. Where did the $700K come from to buy the house for cash? Not sure Mr. Pollara understands math either or is he just denying the increase?

  3. Her main backer for weed legalization in FLA and who bankrolled her run for office must feel she’s got a “sick and injured” bank account. Dial pounlaw thass all.

  4. Keep digging, Steve. There is more to this story than we can imagine. Follow the money!
    Thanks for all you do.

  5. she has “no allegiances to any company. My allegiances are to the state of Florida and to the patients.”………………

    When did the Commissioner of Agriculture also become the Director of the Department of Health and the State Surgeon General?

  6. As Charlie Brown would say…Good Grief.. It sure appears we got us an Agriculture Commissioner with the same ethics as Scott Maddox. She needs to recuse herself ASAP from any regulation thats done in cannabis…there is a glaring conflict here…she cant regulate an industry she has close ties with …period.

  7. She’s a dirty girl but Snidely thinks she’s kinda cute.
    Also I feel DeSantis, Moody, and anyone else of importance at the cabinet level is skeerd stinkless of trying to look into any possable inappropriate Nikki Fried behaviour.
    Here’s hoping maybe the Speaker of The House or President of The Senate will take a look into Nikki’s sordid past business dealings…but I kind of doubt they will.
    Everyone must be thinking they are gonna become Cannabis Millionaires or whatever.

  8. As a recently retired career state employee (in a Department-Agency I won’t name), it seems there is suddenly a very uncharacteristic and extraordinary emphasis on “cannabis” by the Agriculture Department. Florida Agriculture has always been about our fruit and vegetable crops, the seafood industry, forestry, cattle industry, and other traditional agricultural commodities. Why the sudden surge of focus on the “cannabis” industry – a commodity used by a relatively small percentage of the population? Why has this emphasis seemingly coincided with the installment of the new Agriculture Commissioner?

    1. small percentage? uhm if it was small it would of never passed.. with over 64% approval, get your facts straight, even some of those voted no simply to just not associate their name with it (in fear) but still smoke cannabis… Cannabis is a billion dollar industry that will help our economy and does no harm to environment or the people who use it…. so what is wrong? buy few strawberries for $5…. or buy little bit of cannabis for $50? Seems the $50 would be more helpful for our economy.. especially with taxes….

      1. Not hurt anyone? Laughable. We were trolled by a guy who makes his money of personal injury claims. He essentially put the ground work in place to create more and more injuries due to drivers now also impaired by cannabis. A stroke of marketing genius. We have to ask, knowing how many people are killed and injured due to DUI- alcohol, this: Is the number of people suffering from life threatening illness (remember, that is where this started) who will regain their “dignity” a greater or lessor number than those who will be killed or injured by DUI-cannabis?
        I could care less if you drink drain cleaner or smoke kitty litter….as long as you don’t drive or perform other critical tasks that could impact the health and safety, rights, or personal property of anyone else. The hard fact is that we are often poor stewards of our freedom and legalizing cannabis is going to kill far more than it comforts.

      2. Cannabis may be a billion-dollar industry, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a direct cause of profound social and lethal social problems. Maybe 64% of Floridians voted for it (maybe not – quote your source), but that doesn’t improve it one bit of difference, it simply means 64% of Florida’s population made an asinine decision. Judging by current Florida drivers (I’m a native-born Floridian in his 50s), that’s no surprise. However, if taxes and money are your main justification for cannabis, then you’ve already stated your value system. Just as those politicians and businessmen now vigorously working to promote and sell marijuana in Florida.

        Here’s a few “facts” from a state famous for it’s legalization of cannabis.
        Want a baby born testing positive for cannabis in it’s bloodstream? Colorado is the place for you:
        CBS Highlights Problems After Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

        Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally

        From USA Today – hardly an outlet for Conservative views:
        “In the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.”

        From The Washington Post – generally a promoter of all things Leftist:
        “the Washington Post reported on a study by the Review of Economic Studies that found “college students with access to recreational cannabis on average earn worse grades and fail classes at a higher rate. Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado’s youth marijuana use rate is the highest in the nation, 74% higher than the national average, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This is having terribly negative effects on the education of our youth.”

        So – go on crowing about the virtues of cannabis (and think of the money to be made!) but that’s all OK as long as you ignore the social damage. Again – an asinine decision for Florida. Any politician behind this push for cannabis in Florida is self-evident in their value system.

  9. Why is Commissioner Fried hiding her 5307 Pimlico Dr. Tallahassee, FL address?

    AG Moody’s husband works for DEA so that is understandable.

  10. Nikki–There is nothing wrong with being financially successful. There is a lot wrong with being secretive and accumulating your wealth from people and entities that you regulate as a public servant. That isn’t hard to figure out.

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