Protest at Montel Wellness (Abatin) in Sac Today at Noon

Please join a group of concerned vendors and citizens at 2900 U St. in Sac today for a demonstration calling on the organization to pay their debts and do right by the community. Montel may, or may not, have known about the terrible reputation his new partners have in the community for mismanagement of collective funds that have resulted in the default of hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to hard working folks, but he should have done his homework and cleared up these outstanding debts or found another group to partner with if he wanted to enter this market with no controversy. His decision to attempt to use his celebrity to gain a competitive advantage and his management group’s effort to put remodelling and renovating ahead of paying off the people the business owes is shameful. A peaceful protest will be held today, spearheaded by two senior citizens who are owed thousand of dollars, which they were depending on to supplement their fixed incomes. It is a shame that it has come to this, but when big money interests attempt to rewrite history and marginalize dozens of providers and workers in an effort to weasel out of paying what is owed by their organization, it is time for action. Love, compassion and freedom my ass. I hope to see you there.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Montel Williams medical cannabis dispensary owes tens of thousands of dollars to member providers and contractors and refuses to pay their past debts. A protest has been organized by outraged vendors, including two senior citizens who live on fixed incomes and have been greatly affected by their unwillingness to pay their bills.

(Patients and concerned citizens will gather in protest on Friday, June 17 at noon at Abatin Wellness (29th & U) to express their frustrations.)

By: Concerned citizens and hard-working people that Abatin Wellness (formerly Capitol Wellness) have defaulted payment to for goods and services provided. We will be joined by some who question the integrity of an organization that would spend tens of thousands of dollars on facility upgrades, when they owe hundreds of people in the community for their hard work, and have seemingly circumvented the Sacramento ordinance that regulates medical cannabis dispensaries.

  • On Monday, June 13th Montel Williams held a press conference declaring his leading role in the newly renovated and renamed Abatin Wellness Center, stating he would be “involved at every level of the cooperative, from the philosophical direction, down to the blueprints.” He apparently does not think that financials are included in “everything,” as his management group has failed to do the right thing.
  • Capitol Wellness Center (CWC) is Sacramento’s oldest remaining dispensary and over the past couple of years have mounted hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to mismanagement.
  • When the new partnership was formed with the “Abatin” group there has been an effort to intimidate and mislead people that are owed money by CWC, using bankruptcy laws and threats of disclosure to discourage people from demanding payment. These underhanded tactics have left many in the community questioning the validity and decency of the new “ownership.”
  • The City of Sacramento has laid out a clear ordinance regulating the operations and application process for dispensaries, and it seems this group is circumventing the process in several ways, including being closed for more than 30 days and transferring ownership through back door deals.

 

WHAT: A peaceful protest of Motel William’s and his new “partnership” at Abatin Wellness Center for their lack of integrity, honesty, transparency, and decency. An action to bring awareness to the unsavory business practice happening with the new “ownership” of Abatin, formerly Capitol Wellness Center. A demonstration to demand that the City look deeper into the apparent takeover of a once humble and independently operated dispensing collective by an apparent investment group associated with Mr. Williams, who now is paid a consulting fee for his endorsement of this dispensary; we question how they cannot afford to pay what is owed by the collective but they can afford to pay Montel Williams.

WHO: A group of patients, providers and contractors who are concerned about the business practices of Abatin Wellness Center and their inability to pay their debts to honest and hard-working people, including two senior citizens who live on fixed income and have been greatly affected by Capitol Wellness’ defaulting on what they are owed. People directly affected by the apparent take-over and failure to pay by a group associated with TV celebrity Montel Williams.  Other concerned citizens that question the legal ability of this group to circumvent local laws, and use a paid celebrity to gain competitive advantage.

WHERE:  Abatin Wellness Center (formerly CWC) – 2900 U St., Sacramento CA

WHEN:  Friday, June 17th at 12:00 p.m. (Noon)

WHY: To confront the new “ownership” and question their reasoning for not assuming the debt of the corporation upon ownership transfer. Because patients, providers and those who are owed money by this organization deserve to be paid in full BEFORE hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on renovations, upgrades, and celebrity spokespeople. To bring awareness to a situation that has been handled poorly by the new management group, including attorney Gary Hiller. To let the community know that this group is not worthy of their income and collective resources, as they have defaulted on paying hundreds of hard working people in an already tough economy and to encourage them to go elsewhere in Sacramento for their medical cannabis services.

Sac News and Review piece on the Montel drama and BS…

Below is a decent piece by Nick Miller of the Sac News and Review detailing the Montel soap opera in a little more detail. I was contacted this morning by two senior women who told me Montel Wellness owes them $8,500 and refused to pay them. It was heartbreaking to have ladies my mother’s age who live of of fixed incomes and depend on their harvest to supplement their income telling me how this has affected their lives. I was appalled to think that this group spent probably a undred thousand dollars on renovations and upgrades and “celebrity consulting” and they have made no effort to manage the debt of the organization. These women have gone without, as this organization has spared no expense on their “message.” Their “everyone else is doing it wrong and I am here to save you” BS is unbecoming. I just cannot fathom how these snakes sleep at night. Ugh…

Montel Williams’ fight

The former talk-show host opens a new medical-cannabis dispensary in Midtown to fanfare, controversy


By Nick Miller

“There won’t be a cure for MS in my lifetime. Period. It’s not happening.”

Montel Williams, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, accepts this. He accepts it when he gets up each morning and is in too much pain to lift his feet out of bed. Or when his body can’t regulate its temperature and he’s the only guy in an air-conditioned room sweating uncontrollably.

He says these words on a recent Thursday morning at downtown Sacramento’s Hyatt Regency hotel amid sips of a warm espresso drink. The former talk-show host, whose Montel Williams Show ended in 2008 after 17 years, says he’s on a single-minded mission to mitigate, abate and assuage his MS symptoms. And share what he’s learned with patients worldwide.

“Everything I’m working on is a spoke in the wheel,” he says.

CW: I guess the history of the organization and its obligations are like the playing card stuck in that spoke getting whacked every time it passes by until it withers and is no more….

Williams’ latest spoke, however, is a divisive one: Abatin Wellness Cooperative, a medical-cannabis dispensary he launched this past Monday in Midtown Sacramento. A long-standing advocate, Williams has spoken at city halls across the country on behalf of medical pot. But this is his first medical-marijuana business endeavor. He hopes to take what he learns over the next six months here in Sacramento and expand nationwide.

Critics, including many local pot-club owners, say Williams is merely cashing in on California’s marijuana boom. They cite his commercials shilling for cash-advance loans and penchant for hosting psychics on his old TV show as grounds to doubt his compassion.

CW: It is hard to think how compassionate people would bully and intimidate senior citizens and hard working people to get out of paying their debts. They are your goons…

Many also question whether he should be allowed to operate a dispensary in the city, which has a moratorium on new clubs and an ordinance disallowing transfer of ownership. Williams says he is simply “consulting” at Abatin, and that Aundre Speciale—who owned the club that also previously operated at 2100 29th Street as Capitol Wellness Collective—remains on as “executive director.”

CW: Manager. Check the payroll differential from 2009 and now….

A contingent of vendors arrived at the new dispensary on Monday to complain that they were unpaid by Speciale for cannabis and services provided at her old collective, which shut down months ago, only to be remodeled into the existing Abatin club. One disgruntled contractor, Mickey Martin, who owns medical-cannabis consulting firm T-Comp in the Bay Area, argued he’s owed $20,000 from Capitol Wellness and also that Abatin is in violation of Sacramento’s ordinance, which states that any dispensary that closes for more than 30 days will have its permit revoked.

CW: That is correct….

Capitol Wellness says it’s working with vendors to resolve any payment issues.

I have made several calls, sent emails, and have mailed letters in an effort to get a response to no avail. This has been going on since January. Where is the resolution I wonder? Glad they spent everyone else’s collective income on renovations while leaving contractors and suppliers out in the cold.

Williams rebuffs all detractors. “Anyone who would say [I’m doing this for the money] clearly is thinking of how they position themselves, because they’re not thinking about me. I’ve been doing this for the last 10 years. It’s not like I’m doing this because I’m trying to make a buck. …

CW: So…I could care less your motivation. Just pay your bills, dude….and try and play by the rules. Unsavory business practice sucks, but KARMA sucks more…..

For the rest of this story visit the SN&R site HERE