PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A former grower for The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation says his old boss defamed him by spreading the false rumor that the Foundation canned him for stealing 100 pounds of marijuana.
Andrew Hangerud says he worked as a gardener in the Foundation’s marijuana garden and gave weekly lessons in the “art and science of marijuana cultivation.” “Plaintiff’s expertise in gardening and the marijuana he produced won awards at the 2008 Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards,” Hangerud says in his claim in Multnomah County Court.
The Foundation fired him in May this year.
Two weeks later, Foundation Director D. Paul Stanford told partygoers at a Foundation event that he had fired Hangerud “for stealing 100 pounds of marijuana from the THC garden,” according to the complaint.
Hangerud denies the charge, and says Stanford never directly accused him of it. He says the defamatory statement has made it harder for him to “pursue his trade and profession.”
Last week, Hangerud filed a wage complaint against the Foundation for withholding overtime wages he earned during “crunch time in the garden.”
Hangerud demands $1 million for defamation and privacy invasion/false light. He is represented by Lake Perriguey of Law Works.