IRVINE, Calif., April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — People’s California today issued the following statement:

“On March 28, 2024, Blüm Holdings, Inc. issued a press release referring to People’s California, LLC and Mr. Bernard Steimann. This follows an overt threat made by Blüm CEO Sabas Carillo to weaponize unfounded and unproven allegations, made by Mr. Steimann’s ex-wife in a contentious child custody matter, in order for Carillo to gain an advantage in an unrelated business dispute.

This business dispute involves People’s California’s November 2021 sale of retail assets, including People’s First Choice (aka “People’s OC”) dispensary, to Unrivaled Brands, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blüm. The sale’s total value was assessed at approximately $80M, but to date, Blüm has failed to deliver on approximately $50M of this value. At the time of sale, Blüm paid People’s California for a portion of the assets with 40M shares of Unrivaled stock, valued at $16M. But a 97% drop in Unrivaled’s stock price since the sale means these shares are now worth just 3% of their original value.

Unrivaled’s staggering decline coincides with the appointment of Sabas Carillo as CEO on August 12, 2022. As CEO, Carillo charged Blüm $150,000 a month plus “performance bonuses” payable in cash or stock. Since August 2022, Unrivaled’s stock has deteriorated by an astonishing 86% and the company has lost a breathtaking $30M (82%) of its market cap while at the same time Carillo has charged Blüm almost $3M exclusive of any bonuses.

When Unrivaled failed to pay for the retail assets, People’s California was forced to sue. In March 2023, the parties signed a settlement agreement, wherein People’s California agreed to take a reduced amount. But to-date, Blüm has failed and refused to pay, and still owes People’s California more than $23M. Under the settlement’s terms, Unrivaled must now sell People’s OC in order to meet a portion of its payment obligations. People’s California has also started foreclosing on a property owned by Unrivaled, located at 3242 Halladay Street in Santa Ana, California, which was pledged as security in the settlement.

It is shocking and disappointing that, rather than simply meeting their financial obligations, Blüm and Sabas Carillo are publicizing unfounded and unproven allegations in order to sabotage the sale process and prevent People’s California from collecting payment. In their March 28, 2024 press release, Blüm and Sabas Carillo included links, and a step-by-step guide, to access court documents that contain the names of Mr. Steimann’s young children. There is simply no legitimate reason to publish this information, other than to try and intimidate and embarrass Mr. Steimann.

We will not address the specific allegations, which Mr. Steimann denies in their entirety. We wish to protect the privacy of all involved, most importantly his minor children. This matter will be worked out appropriately through the Family Court process, and we are confident that the court, Mr. Steimann, and his legal counsel will focus on the children’s best interests.

This is a cautionary tale for all those that do business with Sabas Carillo and Blüm, for whom nothing appears to be off limits. It is clear they will intimidate and harass anyone who dares insist they meet their contractual obligations.”

About People’s California

People’s California is California’s leading source for premium cannabis distillate and an industry leader providing high-quality products, excellent customer service, compliance and education. A privately-held company headquartered in Irvine, CA, People’s California prides itself on friendly and knowledgeable staff, community involvement, and close relationships with suppliers. For more information visit peoplescalifornia.com