Novack and Macey partners Stephen Siegel, Andrew Shelby, and Elizabeth Wolicki stepped in as counsel years into a case and quickly obtained a tremendous turnaround for their client Cary Neiman in his dispute with Green Thumb Industries (GTI) and its CEO Benjamin Kovler.

Filed in 2017, Mr. Neiman’s lawsuit alleged that he and Mr. Kovler orally agreed in 2014 to start a cannabis company and use Neiman’s idea for the company’s name, Green Thumb Industries. The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Neiman and Mr. Kovler agreed that Mr. Neiman would be employed as GTI’s head grower, would own a one percent equity share of GTI, and have the right to invest further in GTI in the future. 

GTI now has a market capitalization of approximately $6.5 billion. 

When Novack and Macey stepped into the case in early 2021, certain of Mr. Neiman’s expert and fact witnesses had been barred from testifying, additional fact discovery needed to be conducted, and Neiman’s contract and promissory estoppel claims had been dismissed in their entirety because the alleged oral contract with Mr. Kovler was not in writing. 

Mr. Neiman hired Novack and Macey to substitute in as counsel and continue his court fight.  Stephen Siegel, Andrew Shelby, and Elizabeth Wolicki reviewed Mr. Neiman’s case, developed a new strategy, and filed a series of four motions to expand Mr. Neiman’s claims and discovery efforts. 

After oral argument, the Honorable Margaret A. Brennan granted each of the motions in full.  As a result, Mr. Neiman was granted leave to amend his complaint to assert several new claims against Mr. Kovler, Green Thumb Industries, LLC, and Green Thumb Industries, Inc. The new claims include counts for breach of an oral or implied license agreement to use the names “Green Thumb Industries” and “GTI” and a claim that the defendants violated an agreement to sub-license those names back to Mr. Neiman for his exclusive use on the west coast of the United States.

The Court also reinstated Mr. Neiman’s breach of oral contract and promissory estoppel claims in substantial part, specifically, allowing him to sue for having been deprived of a 1% equity interest and rights to acquire further equity in GTI.  Finally, the Court reconsidered its decision barring certain of Mr. Neiman’s fact and expert witnesses and also allowed him to conduct additional fact discovery.