Tommy Chong, son settle marijuana marketing lawsuit
Tommy Chong and the comic’s son have reached a settlement with a licensing company that sued the pair alleging they cut them out of the profits generated from a marketing plan the plaintiffs established to sell marijuana products and accessories.
Evergreen Licensing LLC and its founder, Brian Vecchio, named Tommy and Paris Chong as defendants in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, along with Jon-Paul Cowen, described in the complaint as a business associate of the Chongs.
On Friday, Judge Robert S. Draper vacated the scheduled Oct. 11 trial date for the case. The terms of the accord were not revealed in court papers announcing the settlement that were filed by the plaintiffs on Aug. 25.
Chong, now 84, was chosen to help market the Evergreen project because he is a “well-known and longtime proponent of the legalization and responsible use of cannibis,” the suit filed in April 2018 stated.
But after three years of development and spending $1 million on the project, Chong and Cowen conspired to “take it all away, even hacking into Evergreen’s Gmail account in order to misappropriate social media sites that plaintiffs created for the project,” according to the suit, which alleged the defendants “cut plaintiffs entirely out of the picture, the project and the revenue and profits the project was going to generate and is generating.”
Although Chong “cultivated the public image of a trustworthy, pot-smoking, laid back, good guy,” the plaintiffs found out “to their chagrin and injury … that he was anything but that type individual in his business dealings with them,” the suit stated.
Chong co-starred with Cheech Marin in the 1978 film “Up in Smoke,” which is credited with establishing the stoner comedy genre.
In their court papers, defense attorneys alleged in a countersuit that Evergreen failed to provide quarterly statements, pay $130,000 in royalty fees and get written approval for Tommy Chong’s intellectual property rights.