While Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was taking steps to influence Florida cannabis policy and implement rules that regulate the cultivation of hemp, her fiance’, Jake Bergmann, created a web of companies with people and organizations that have a professional interest in the cannabis and the hemp industry.
Several of the people involved with the businesses have connections to Nikki Fried, including Fried’s father, Ronald Fried. Also, one of the companies is registered at Fried’s personal residence.
Another company is registered at the address of The Rubin Group. The Rubin Group donated $5,000 to Fried’s PAC in 2018 and is the registered legislative lobbyist for the medical marijuana company originally founded by Bergmann.
Publicly available records show that Jake Bergmann has teamed up to form a cannabis related business venture with Ronald Fried and Hali Utstein, the wife of David Silvers – a Florida state representative.
Bergmann is also registered as an officer of a business along with Zachary Kobrin, a cannabis attorney with the law firm of Akerman LLP.
The corporations were created after Fried was elected to statewide office in 2018 and after Bergmann stepped down as CEO of Suterra, the medical marijuana company he founded and is now named Parallel.
After her election victory, Fried began sharing a home with Bergmann in Northeast Tallahassee. Bergmann is still legally married, however divorce proceedings began in April 2019 and a trial is scheduled for June 2021.
Commenting on their relationship recently, a Fried spokesperson said, “Commissioner Fried and her fiancé are family, and are in a committed relationship as they are in the process of getting married….”
In her elected position, Fried has publicly advocated for the legalization of marijuana. In addition, Fried has taken steps to influence