Plaintiffs Richard Komaiko and Marcie Cooperman filed the litigation against the Denver-based cannabis industry business service provider in federal court in the Northern District of California June 28 over alleged repeated violations of federal and state telemarketing legislation. The lawsuit alleges that Baker’s involvement in sending telemarketing text messages violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).
According to the complaint, Baker collected mobile phone numbers and provided them to its cannabis dispensary clients. The lawsuit alleges that Baker was heavily involved in sending telemarketing text messages to the phone numbers without first obtaining the proper written consent to do so.
“As we understand it, Baker basically provides services to about 1,100 cannabis dispensaries throughout the country,” said Peter Roldan, partner at Emergent LLP, which represents the plaintiffs in the case. “Baker’s business model … stresses the importance of text marketing to its client dispensaries. They make it clear that one of the services they can provide is this direct advertising, which, for dispensaries, it’s one of the few legal ways for them to advertise because there are a lot of restrictions that apply to advertising for businesses in the cannabis industry. They market heavily their ability to reach potential clients through these texts.”
Baker has an application that harvests mobile phone numbers from the customers of its clients’ dispensaries, according to Roldan. Baker then allows its clients to send text messages to the phone numbers using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS), he said.
“One of the things it does is it allows these texts to be sent to the recipients from spoof numbers, so, it’s not necessarily the number