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FLOW KANA AND SMALL FARMERS, AN OPINION PIECE

Anonymous | September 06, 2019 | 5 2

Flow Kana’s biggest equity stake is held by Gotham Green Partners, a private equity firm based in New York.

Flow Kana has raised a total of $175 million, most from Gotham Green Partners, and $125 million of which was a round of financing in February, 2019. It was the largest private funding round of a cannabis company in the United States to date. But who are Gotham Green Partners?

Who is their Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Jason Adler…?

The Gotham Green Partners website says nothing. It’s dark. So I did some digging.

But who am I to do this digging? Me?

I’ve lived in Mendocino County for the last 19 years. I love Mendocino County. I was born and raised in New York, worked on Wall Street, and I have known guys like Jason Adler, all my life. Among other gigs, I was hired by Buzzy Krongard at Alex Brown, worked for John Mulheren at Spear Leeds Kellogg, and worked for Ken Tropin at Dean Witter. I’ve worked in the offshore shadow banking system. My Wall Street work file is found at FINRA.

It’s a public document. Also, I’ve been a bonded fiduciary and trustee of Mendocino County’s own $600 million pension system (2012-2017), and was I was trained as a fiduciary at Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley’s Haas School, and UCLA’s Anderson School. Finally, I’ve had a radio show that does investigative reporting since the global financial crisis in 2008. I have sources in corporate intelligence at Kroll Associates and Duff & Phelps. I’m good at what I do. And this is what I’ve learned. –

JASON ADLER – Jason Adler started Gotham Green Partners in May, 2017. Michael Henderson-Cohen, a Principal at Gotham Green Partners, sits on the Board of Directors at Flow Kana. He babysits Jason Adler’s money at Flow Kana. Who is Jason Alder, really? Jason Adler is “Mr. Wall Street Dark Money”. For 13 years, Jason Adler was the Chief Executive Officer of Saiers Capital, LLC (formerly Alphabet Management, LLC). It’s a quantitative hedge fund, also known as a quant fund. Quants make their money on trading in the volatility of global financial markets. In fact, their massive, computer-driven, “flash” trading creates much of this volatility. It’s a get-filthy-rich-scheme. Jason Adler cashed out of Saiers Capital a few years ago to start Gotham Green Partners. – QUANTS – So what are quants?

Quants are Wall Street’s geeks. They’re often mathematicians. And make their money manipulating financial markets, creating volatility in financial markets, then trading on the wild swings of volatility that they themselves create. Jason Adler’s partner, Nelson Saiers, was such a geek. He studied algebraic topology and cobordism theory. Barron’s described Saiers as a star quantitative investor. He worked at UBS and Deutsche Bank. At Deutsche Bank, Nelson Saiers was a Managing Director and ran a proprietary trading business focused on derivatives How do quants do what they do?

Quants use their hedge funds’ massive, computer-driven, “flash” trading to create much of the volatility in today’s markets. Something called “derivatives” highly leverage their trades. If you’re a big institutional investor and you can’t beat the quants, then you join them. It’s a sort of legal blackmail. Quant hedge funds specifically target risk-adverse institutional investors, like big pension funds, interested in hedging against the very risk that quant hedge funds they, themselves, create. It’s ironic, but true.

Let’s be clear: Hedge funds do not create value. They destroy value. Hedge funds are the true robber barons of Wall Street. And Jason Adler is one of those robber barons.

In large part, due to hedge funds, and also due to derivatives, which leverage bets made by hedge funds, global financial markets are now are a dangerous world wrought with turbulence, unpredictability, and insane amounts of risk. To think that Jason Adler is in our backyard, right here in Redwood Valley, makes my skin crawl. –

THE CRONOS GROUP AND JASON ADLER – As a footnote, Jason Adler also sits on the board of another cannabis company, The Cronos Group. According to their own annual report, “The Cronos Group is committed to building disruptive intellectual property by advancing cannabis research, technology and product development.” Sounds like biotech to me.

Also, Cronos is in bed with a company called Altria. Altria is “Big Tobacco”. (More about that later.) Altria paid a 42% premium over the Cronos stock’s 10-day volume-weighted average price for the period ending Nov. 30, 2018. That gave Altria a 45% stake in Cronos, with an option for Altria to increase its stake to 55% over the next five years. But there are even greater long-term benefits for Cronos Group resulting from the deal. Cronos will now have an exclusive partner in Altria. –

ALTRIA – Who is Altria? What is Altria? Altria was previously known as Philip Morris Companies, Inc. Sound familiar? They have a huge portfolio of cigarette brands, including Marlboro. They also own wine brands and vape brands. Altria is Big Tobacco. Their market capitalization, as of today, August 30, 2019, is $82.07 billion. And they are bad people. According to the Center for Public Integrity, Altria spent around $101 million on lobbying the United States government between 1998 and 2004, making it the second most active organization in the nation. Altria also funded The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition which lobbied against the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.

Daniel Smith, representing Altria, sits on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In August 2006, Altria was found guilty of civil fraud and racketeering. Our boy, Jason Adler, sits on the Cronos board, which makes him a partner with Altria. Because Jason Adler and Gotham Green Partners funded Flow Kana, that puts only one degree of separation between Flow Kana and Altria. Let me say that again.

There’s only one degree of separation between Flow Kana and Big Tobacco. And that one degree of separation is Jason Adler, and Jason Adler is Mr. Wall Street Dark Money. There’s more. –

PEBBLE LABS – Jason Adler is on the board of directors at a biotech company, Pebble Labs, located near the U.S. nuclear weapons lab in Los Alamos, NM. Pebble Labs’ technology makes it possible to use bacteria to insert “engineered” genes inside host plants or animals. Keep in mind that recombinant micro-organisms can potentially produce any protein encoded by any gene.

For example, Monsanto has already figured out how to insert a gene in its seed corn that produces Bt toxin, designed to protect the plant by rupturing the stomach of any insect that feeds on it. Monsanto claims the toxin will break down before the corn makes it to your dinner table, but rats fed the GMO corn showed organ failure and the toxin has been detected in the bodies of pregnant women. Pebble Labs plans on running away with this technology.

It has an in-house, proprietary advanced analytics and computational technology called “Parallax Analytics” that uses uniquely developed algorithms, software, and data sources to design and drive accelerated research initiatives. Freaked out yet?

There’s more. – MICHAEL HARRISON – Pebble Labs’ Chairman and CEO is a guy named Michael Harrison. Michael Harrison is also the Chairman of Trait Biosciences, a cannabis biotech company. – TRAIT BIOSCIENCES – Read carefully about what I’m about to say next. It’s very important. Trait Biosciences, also located in Los Alamos, NM, will change everything about cannabis farming in the same way Monsanto changed everything with strains of transgenic corn.

Monsanto has GMO corn that is variously drought-resistant, herbicide-resistant, insect-resistant, fungus-resistant, and corn with higher nutritional value. Monsanto did it all with biotech. Trait Biosciences has its own five areas of transgenic cannabis: 1. “Trait’s DistilledTM” patent pending creates water-soluble CBD, THC, terpenes and other cannabinoids. They do this by mimicking a process that occurs commonly in nature and naturally occurs in your body as it metabolizes different types of foods.

This process—called glycosylation—involves attaching a sugar molecule to the cannabinoid, which makes it water soluble. 2. “Trait DefenseTM” patent pending takes the natural bacteria that lives in the biome of cannabis to create molecules of “interfering RNA” (commonly known as RNAi) to stop viruses and mold from being able to replicate, transforming cannabis farms into disease-free farms. 3. “Trait Tailored’sTM” patent pending technology enables Big Ag and Big Pharma to precisely customize the cannabinoid profiles of their hemp or cannabis strains with ground-breaking precision. 4. “Trait AmplifiedTM” dramatically improves the plants’ natural cannabinoid production and crop yield. “Amplified’s” patent pending natural process increases cannabinoid synthesis in every part of the plant—leaves, stalks, stems, roots and, of course, the bud.

This provides growers the opportunity to operate on a “continuous harvest” cycle—pruning the plants on an ongoing basis to harvest only the cannabinoids—instead of the traditional “vegetative flowering harvest” process, which results in the destruction of the entire plant. 5. “Trait ZeroTM” patent pending regulates the plant genes involved in THC production. Their “ZeroTM” technology grows cultivars of THC-free hemp.

Trait Biosciences is the biotech game changer. This is another irony, of course. Mendocino County was the first jurisdiction in the United States to ban GMOs with a county ordinance, Measure H. Measure H did not specifically ban GMO bacteria/microorganisms. I forget the details why, but can research why later. Suffice it to say, if someone creates (and patents) a GMO bacteria that alters the properties of a non-GMO plant (e.g. cannabis), it may be legal in Mendocino County. But do we want to go down that road? I don’t think so. –

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO – Heard enough?

If you’ve heard enough, write to Jason Adler at Gotham Green Partners, 489 5th Avenue, Suite 29A, New York, NY 10017. Ask Mr. Adler what he’s doing here in Mendocino County. How did a Wall Street robber baron find his way to Redwood Valley? Ask Mr. Adler if he’s planning on using Pebble Labs and Trait Biosciences biotech to create new patented strains of cannabis.

While you’re at it, also write to Michael Steinmetz, Flow Kana’s co-founder and CEO. Write to him at: Flow Kana, 1150 Bel Arbres Road, Redwood Valley, CA 95470. Ask Mr. Steinmetz if knows who he’s in bed with. Ask Mr. Steinmetz if he ever vetted Jason Adler, also known as Mr. Wall Street Dark Money, or if vetting his investors isn’t important.

Ask him if he plans on using Flow Kana’s small farmers as guinea pigs for GMO strains developed by Pebble Labs and Trait Biosciences. –

MICHAEL STEINMETZ – Flow Kana’s CEO Michael Steinmetz is another interesting dude. Originally from Caracas, Steinmetz built and sold a Venezuelan national food marketing and distribution company, and worked as an investment analyst at Merrill Lynch and a data analyst at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory.

NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory. Really? Holy cow! And Venezuela, too. Really? Venezuela is one of the most corrupt, most bankrupt countries in the our hemisphere, and today, the Trump administration is threatening to invade Venezuela with a view to “restoring democracy”, replacing an elected president (casually described by the Western media as a “dictator”) by a U.S. proxy, the speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

Venezuela is on the U.S. State Department’s watch list, along with Cuba and Nicaragua. So what was Michael Steinmetz really doing in Venezuela? I’ve also heard Michael Steinmetz was involved in a cryptocurrency mining scheme. I’m tracking down a story involving the now-disappeared, cloud-mining cryptocurrency site called “HashOcean” in San Francisco.

Nothing yet. – DO THE MATH –

Flow Kana got $175 million from Gotham Green Partners. Well, we know the old Fetzer estate in Redwood Valley sold for about $5 million, and it appears Flow Kana has done another $5 million in buildouts and renovations. And Flow Kana paid $5-10 million for Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland, a 12-acre property. (The price wasn’t disclosed.) A two-year consulting agreement between John Schaeffer, CEO and founder of Real Goods, and Flow Kana, probably cost Flow Kana a few more bucks. Add another few million bucks for Flow Kana’s marketing campaign. Another few million for legal and compliance. .

Maybe add another half million for their fancy packaging roll out, including white label packaging. But it still doesn’t add up to anything close to $175 million. As to why Flow Kana only represents just over 100 of the legally permitted gardens in Mendocino County, and only pays an average of $300-400 a pound, and yet still requires the product to be put on the market before they even pay the farmer such insulting prices, it seems to me things don’t add up.

Seems to me Flow Kana has given us some serious clues as to where their private funding is actually going — and it’s not going to support the small farmers. – MY THEORY – My theory? It’s completely unsubstantiated, but a strong intuition. My theory is that Mendocino County government is quietly working on behalf of Flow Kana to put select farmers out of business. How? The Sheriff can raid them. Or the Building and Planning Department can make it impossible to get permits.

Who gets put out of business?

Independent farmers. Leaders. Rebels. Organizers. Farmers who won’t take the Flow Kana deal. If true, this is appalling. And criminal. It’s racketeering.

If I find one scintilla of evidence that this is true, I’m going straight to the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco. –

MY OTHER THEORY – My other theory is also completely unsubstantiated, but a strong intuition. It’s that Flow Kana will someday soon work with Pebbles Labs and Trait Biosciences — a joint partnership brokered by our boy, Jason Adler — to create patented proprietary strains of CMO cannabis, just like Monsanto does with corn. And they might start with a strain targeted at opioid/pain med addicts trying to kick their habits. It’s huge $50 billion market. Maybe more.

Farmers not buying Flow Kana-Pebble Labs-Trait Biosciences GMO clones or seed would be sued, just like Monsanto sues farmers who don’t buy Monsanto GMO seed corn. Noncompliant farmers would be forced out of business. The partnership of Flow Kana-Pebbles Labs-Trait Biosciences will then own the market. That would be my strategic plan, if I were Jason Adler, Michael Henderson, and Michael Steinmetz. Again, just a theory. –

MONSANTO – A quick word about Monsanto. They have a killer business model. Buy their GMO seed, or they’ll sue you, and put you out of business. Since 1997, Monsanto has filed 286 lawsuits, on average about 13 lawsuits every year for 22 straight years, against organic farmers who have “improperly reused their patented seeds.” The biotech giant hasn’t lost a single case, either. Here’s Monsanto’s legal argument: Monsanto sues on behalf of farmers growing Monsanto GMO crops, arguing that the cross-pollination of GMO crops with the pollen of non-GMO crops (from neighboring fields) destroyed the biotech traits of future crops.

This argument is allowed by the Plant Patent Act of 1930 (enacted on June 17, 1930, as Title III of the Smoot–Hawley Tariff, ch. 497, 46 Stat. 703, codified as 35 U.S.C. Ch. 15). What about unfair business practices? What about 92% of people saying they want their food labeled, if it contains genetically modified ingredients? What about the right of farmers to grow food from seed that hasn’t been altered to turn it into a DNA freak show Forget it. A class action lawsuit representing over 300,000 farmers who wanted the right to grow organic food was dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiffs had been sued by Monsanto! Wow.

The judge further said the farmers’ reasons for suing the biotech giant were “unsubstantiated”. When Monsanto released a statement to the press following the dismissal of the case, Monsanto said the plaintiffs had “overstated the magnitude of Monsanto’s patent enforcement,” also noting that Monsanto’s average of roughly 13 lawsuits per year “is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the United States, approximately 2 million.” The partnership of Flow Kana-Pebble Labs-Trait Biosciences will likely use the same legal arguments. –

FINAL QUESTION – Jason Adler is better known by his rightful name, Mr. Wall Street Dark Money. Who the hell is this guy? Why the hell is he here, in Mendocino County? What the hell are we, the community small farmers in Mendocino County, going to do about it? John Sakowicz Please forward this post to our brothers and sisters in the cannabis industry. Small farmers are endangered here in Mendocino County. We must unite. We must fight together as one. We are family. Wall Street Dark Money only wins, if they divide us.

John Sakowicz

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked them for accuracy. We’ve been approached several times to post a controversial opinion piece here about small cannabis farmers and the Flow Kana corporation. Some call it a conspiracy theory. Some believe it completely.The writer, John Sakowicz, is no stranger to controversy. In the interests of fairness, tomorrow we’ll post a rebuttal piece by well-known Mendocino grower Casey O’Neill.

Comments(3)

  • Sep 06, 2019, 06:18 PM  Reply

    everybody is selling out!!! once again this is one sided, wheres the stories on Berner/cookies and their shadiness, or even jungle boys which i see is paying from advertisement and marketing on your website???????

  • Sep 06, 2019, 11:25 PM  Reply

    Absolutely ???? right here. They state opinion but many can cites herein can be 100% validated. Including the facts here are not disputed by @flow_kana

  • Sep 06, 2019, 11:27 PM  Reply

    Anonymous Sep 06, 2019, 06:18 PM

    everybody is selling out!!! once again this is one sided, wheres the stories on Berner/cookies and their shadiness, or even jungle boys which i see is paying from advertisement and marketing on your website???????

    Cookies is on our boycott and direct civil disobedience action list and we are digging on these non-supporting Cannabis Companies. If you have dirt on them post it. @cannabispow

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