Werner-Simon, Cannabis Business Times, August 17, 2021, “NFL Players Fumble the Ball, Intersectionality of Cannabis and Sports” https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/julio-jones-roddy-white-cannabis-lawsuit/
Julio Jones and Roddy White are embroiled in a convoluted cannabis lawsuit that could have been avoided.
On July 21, 2021, NFL superstar wide receiver Julio Jones was named as the lead defendant in a 12-count civil fraud, conversion of assets, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court relating to a cannabis cultivation operation he co-owns. After being traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans this offseason, swapping his black and red jersey for a red, white, and blue one, his focus will be on the color green, as in the color of all the money that he is going to need to pay legal fees.
The case is titled Genetixs, LLC v. Julio Jones, followed by nine other individual and entity-named-defendants including retired Falcon receiver Roddy White. (White is listed individually in the charging document by his formal name, Sharod White.)
Additionally, White’s Mississippi LLC, “SLW Holdings,” is the fifth defendant in the civil case. Jones and White, through White’s LLC, had invested millions of dollars to start and operate a Southern California grow facility, Genetixs. The NFL players, through the holding company, shared a fractionalized ownership interest in the cultivation business with other Genetixs company members. In sum, the cultivation business, Genetixs, operated by the man Jones and White installed as the grow house’s chairman, is now suing the players and others involved in the business.
The 26-page civil complaint (also referred to as the “July 2021 lawsuit”) has been circulating across the Internet and the allegations are incendiary. Genetixs, a California LLC, which operated a grow house in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has charged that each of civil defendants named in the case participated in a scheme that diverted over $3 million of cannabis a month from March to July 2021 from the Genetixs’ grow facility.