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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Announces Settlement with HighBazaar, Ending Illegal Unlicensed Cannabis Markets

Investigation into EventBrite Active and Ongoing

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today announced a stipulated judgment with HighBazaar organizers Joseph Accettullo and Cody Roberts, ending the illegal, unlicensed cannabis markets and enforcing a series of strong obligations regarding ongoing inspections and restrictions on advertisements.

The judgement requires Accettullo and Roberts to make clear and conspicuous disclosures at HighBazaar events and on any advertisements that the sale, distribution or exchange of cannabis will be strictly prohibited. All prospective vendors must be notified in advance, and must acknowledge in writing that they will not sell, offer, distribute, or exchange cannabis at any HighBazaar event. Further, anyone under 21 must be prohibited from attending HighBazaar events. The stipulated judgment gives the Office of the Attorney General the right to enter and inspect HighBazaar premises at any time to ensure compliance with the agreement.

The agreement carries a $20,000 penalty, which will be suspended if Accettullo and Roberts comply with all terms of the judgment.

“HighBazaar operated unlawful cannabis markets where vendors peddled untested, illegal products. Not anymore. This stipulated judgment forces a series of strong, ongoing obligations, including clear and conspicuous disclosures and acknowledgements that the sale, distribution and exchange of cannabis will be strictly prohibited at any HighBazaar event. We will be watching closely—including unannounced inspections—to ensure strict, ongoing compliance,” said Attorney General William Tong.

In January, Attorney General Tong issued cease and desist letters to High Bazaar’s organizers and Hamden landlord, warning organizers that their events involved the illegal marketing and sale of cannabis outside of the regulated market, and that the events were accessible to individuals under the age of 21. The letters further warned that the markets appeared to violate the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”), General Statutes § 42-110a, et seq., the Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act, General Statutes § 21a-420, et seq., and/or other applicable laws and regulations.

In the letter, Attorney General Tong requested that organizers cease holding the events immediately and warned that the Office of the Attorney General would “explore all legal options” should HighBazaar organizers fail to do so. Despite those warnings, HighBazaar continued to advertise bi-weekly events online at a new location in Hamden. Attorney General Tong then sought a court injunction, resulting in HighBazaar cancelling its advertised events.

The Office of the Attorney General had also previously sent notice to EventBrite, which HighBazaar had used to promote its markets. The letter warned that such posts violate EventBrite’s own Community Guidelines and that the events they promoted also violate Connecticut law. The Office of the Attorney General has an active and ongoing investigation into EventBrite’s continued marketing of unlicensed cannabis markets in Connecticut.

Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan Blake and Addison Keilty, and Deputy Associate Attorney General Michael Wertheimer, Chief of the Consumer Protection Section, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.

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