Dutchie, an online marijuana retailer, is suing Akerna Corp. for allegedly breaking Pennsylvania law. Dutchie is a cannabis technology software company. Akerna is allegedly arbitrarily refusing to open its state traceability system to allow connection with cannabis retailers’ preferred technology partners, according to Dutchie’s lawsuit, which claims Pennsylvania law demands open integration with any partner, including point-of-sale systems.
Through its Leaf Data Systems software, Akerna, a division of the MJ Freeway-MTech merger, offers seed-to-sale tracking to marijuana businesses in Pennsylvania. John Kelleher, general attorney for Dutchie, based in Bend, Oregon, said in a statement that the company had heard from many clients and shops from all around the state who claimed they were forced to adopt Akerna’s point-of-sale system despite having better options.
“Retailers should be allowed to select the technology partners that best enable them to succeed and make sure patients have secure and convenient access to their medications,” the statement reads. According to Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Denver-based Akerna, “we are saddened that Dutchie feels the need to pursue this flimsy allegation in court,” according to MJBizDaily via email.
As of right now, Duke is a recognized partner for the Commonwealth’s cannabis traceability system and will continue to be one for the duration of our recently extended contract. Akerna has been in touch with Pennsylvania and Dutchie officials, according to Billingsley. In her letter, Dutchie stated that throughout their interactions,
“it has been made plain to Dutchie that Leaf Data Systems is contractually unable to make modifications unilaterally to its product, as changes may only be done through formal change requests from the Department of Health.” There hasn’t been a change request of a such kind made. A new lawsuit brought by Dutchie’s co-founders names the company as the defendant.