×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Producers of 420TV Online Pot Channel Sued by Investor

A legal fight has flared up between the financier of 420TV — billed as the first digital network devoted to cannabis culture — and the company that is producing and distributing the marijuana-themed channel.

The network’s backer, Genesis Media, has sued Ownzones Media Network over a dispute about the funds used to launch 420TV. Genesis provided $3.1 million to Ownzones to produce pot-related programming under an agreement struck last year. According to the lawsuit, Ownzones and CEO Dan Goman failed to account for how the money was used and also low-balled the budget required to get 420TV’s planned slate of nine original series off the ground.

“[D]efendants Ownzones and Goman displayed willful misconduct and gross negligence in their performance by, among other ways, commingling Genesis’ funds with Ownzones’ funds and showing a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care in the management of the project,” Genesis said in its legal complaint.

Now Genesis is alleging that Ownzones has “hijacked” 420TV by refusing to relinquish the domain name and intellectual property for the weed channel.

Genesis Media’s principal investor is Howard Misle, a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur who has interests in medical marijuana cultivation and distribution companies, including ACC Enterprises, Cannabis Operations and Consulting Group Inc. and Cannabis Management Co. of Nevada Inc.

In a statement, Goman said the claims by Genesis are without merit. A rep for Ownzones said the parties are currently engaged in talks to settle the dispute.

“Ownzones Media Network delivered a world-class and quality OTT programming service in 420TV, which was supported by a dedicated group of top entertainment industry professionals both in the technical and production areas,” Goman said in a statement. “Las Vegas-based Genesis Media’s Howard Misle’s claims are without merit, and we will not otherwise comment regarding active litigation.”

Genesis is demanding return of the $3.1 million it originally paid Ownzones (plus interest); at least $14 million in compensatory damages; and unspecified punitive damages. The investor also is seeking the return of the 420TV.com domain name and related intellectual property through the legal action, which was filed last month in California state court in Los Angeles.

Originally, Ownzones was shooting to launch 420TV in September 2017 but the company “unreasonably delayed the launch date until February 2018,” Genesis alleged in the lawsuit.

According to Genesis lawsuit, Ownzones had agreed to produce all media content for 420TV and asked for an annual budget of $4 million to be paid in installments for production, marketing and promotion. That number “was soon cast out to be unreliably low after the first installment and Ownzones asked for an additional budget,” according to Genesis Media. To date, original programs Ownzones has produced for 420TV include “Medical Marijuana Miracles,” “Cannabiz” and “In Amsterdam.”

On April 18, 2018, Ownzones informed Genesis Media that it would no longer be producing content for 420TV and instead would be providing technical services for the channel.

When Genesis asked Ownzones to deliver financial info related to 420TV, Ownzones said it had spent $1.5 million of the money it received from the investor but “was unable to deliver accounting statements due to commingling of funds,” according to the investor. Genesis notified Ownzones of the termination of their deal on May 4. According to Genesis’ lawsuit, Ownzones has refused to cede control of intellectual property, for the venture including the 420TV.com domain name.

The digital network’s name is a reference to 4:20 p.m. — the time of day pot enthusiasts have observed for toking up — as well as April 20, which has become an unofficial weed holiday around the world. Another party to the 420TV venture is Alex Nahai, a former Hollywood agent who runs his own entertainment and branding company.

More Digital

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Denies Report That It's Exiting Scripted Dramas, Comedies

    YouTube claims it is not pulling up stakes from original entertainment — denying a report by Bloomberg over the weekend that the Google-owned video service was cancelling plans for “high-end dramas and comedies” and had stopped taking pitches for “expensive” scripted shows. In a statement, a rep said, “YouTube denies the report” and cited its [...]

  • Apple to Launch New Apple TV

    This Is What Apple's New TV Service Will Actually Look Like

    Apple unveiled its much-anticipated video service at a press event in Cupertino Monday, promising a range of originals via its forthcoming Apple TV+ service as well as easy access to third-party video subscription services. But while many of the big names attached to Apple’s video efforts were known beforehand, one significant detail wasn’t: How are [...]

  • Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service

    Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service Apple Arcade

    Apple detailed its long-rumored gaming subscription service during a special event it held in Cupertino, California Monday. Apple Arcade is the world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and living room, the company said. With a single subscription, you get access to more than 100 new and exclusive games. The games won’t be on [...]

  • Apple News Announcement

    Apple Unveils $9.99 News Subscription Service Dubbed Apple News+

    Apple unveiled a news subscription service called Apple News+ at its services event in Cupertino, Calif. Monday. The $9.99 service gives paying subscribers access to over 300 magazines as well as select newspapers and premium digital news services. “We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it will have on your lives,” said [...]

  • Katie Drummond - Vice Digital

    Vice Names Katie Drummond Senior VP of Digital

    Katie Drummond, who has worked as an editor in digital media and publishing for a decade, joined Vice Media as senior vice president of Vice Digital. Drummond comes on board to take over many of the duties of Ciel Hunter, who left Vice in January as global head of content for Vice Digital after more [...]

  • Apple Event: How to Watch Live-Stream

    How to Live-Stream Today's Apple Event

    Monday is the coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event. The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from the [...]

  • Google Stadia Is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia Is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content