According to her most recent financial disclosure form, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has a financial interest in Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., a company acquired by Trulieve Cannabis Corp. for $2.1 billion last week. Trulieve is one of the most notable cannabis companies in the United States and is the largest licensed cannabis company in Florida.
According to 2019 documents, Fried’s assets in Harvest Health totaled over $190,000, and her personal overall net worth increased by 416% during the time frame of June 2018 to June 2019. During that period, she was also gifted a $700,000 home with her fiancé Jake Bergmann, who has financial stake in another marijuana company, Surterra Wellness.
Fried has repeatedly promoted the cannabis industry as the Agriculture Commissioner while she and her family have maintained financial interests in cannabis companies.
In June 2019, Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve was appointed to the newly-established Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee for the State of Florida which was created under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services after Nikki Fried was elected.
During the same month as her home acquisition, Fried hired Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis, where Bell would “oversee the development of rules, work directly with scientific experts, and ensure Commissioner Fried’s vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward.”
Prior to her holding statewide office, Fried was a registered medical cannabis lobbyist and her largest client, a company called San Felasco Nurseries, was one of the only licensed marijuana growers in Florida. Weeks after her election as agriculture commissioner, San Felasco was bought out by Harvest Health for over $60 million.
No financial disclosures indicate if Fried benefited financially from the San Felasco buyout, or the Harvest Health buyout, but critics have questioned, since her election, if she has financially benefited from her post as commissioner.
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