Several avid readers have sent me links to the website with the concern that a new Juicy rip-off had launched somewhere else in Europe. That concern, at least, appears to be unfounded
Billing itself as a cannabis platform in the Netherlands, Sweetfields.io is clearly a mirroring site of the Juicy Fields network – not a new rip-off. The easy way to see this starts with recognizing that the “Juicy Boxes” and other similarly branded merch offered from the site is undoubtedly connected. The second is by clicking on the website’s social media links – all of which have been disconnected. The last blog post is dated May 24, and apparently posted at 17.29.
Update on German Juicy Fields Investigation
Here is, however, a very good example to guide international law enforcement who are now currently looking into the scam seriously, starting with the German Attorney General’s office in Berlin, which just released this update five days ago on the status of their investigation. Namely, the personal apartments and business premises of 12 individuals alleged to have perpetrated the fraud were searched by the Polizei (specifically the Berlin State Criminal Police Office). The good news is that, similar to the recent FBI swoop on Mar-a-Lago in Florida recently, “documents were secured.” Let’s see if they are a cannabis version of the “nuclear variety.” Assets in the amount of 2,5 million euros have been enforced against four companies.
This one is serious. When the cops (particularly this kind of heat) show up at your door, you have hit the big time, and it is not a good look. It is called money laundering. Word up to those who might be tempted to find a loophole on this one on the German side of recreational? They do this kind of thing on a regular basis in Deutschland, as Deutsch bank in Frankfurt found out this spring).
A few more things to consider, however, which also appear to broaden the story of the unfolding scam. The telephone number listed on the site, which does not answer, despite several attempts, is listed as a Ukraine-based exchange. This could mean nothing in a world where burner phones and rerouting telephony is a no-brainer to those who are so inclined. But there is that.
The second issue is that the “address” lists itself as being located on Gagarin Street, somewhere, in Poland, with no city or zip to give it away.
What all this does mean, however, is that it does appear that this is sad evidence that the scam spread here too.
A More Critical Eye in Europe
It is not that European cannabis, in general, is “savvier” than anywhere else on the planet. The Juicy scandal hit hard across the continent. However, this is still a time when recreational reform has not established itself. There are many smaller enterprises who are managing to swim in this strangely evolving regulatory environment, albeit a higher one found in North America, and nobody in this part of the world likes to give this part of the industry a black eye.
In this environment, certainly at this stage of the North American “invasion” there are also people who are very concerned about the proliferation of similar kinds of behavior on the European side of reform. It is also not like it hasn’t happened before (notably, with this kind of impact, CannTrust in 2019).
Regardless, “Cannabis Scam Alerts” have clearly been put in effect across a wide swath of social media-connected people within the legitimate cannabis industries across many countries at this point.
The wonderful news of course is that despite all the challenges and fights undoubtedly yet to come, the European industry is beginning to come legitimately into its own.
It’s not that there aren’t any cowboys, or bitchy shade-throwing acts of ‘tude. Generally, however, the companies on the ground here, and the individuals who work for them are preparing for a legitimate, regulated industry at this point on the medical and CBD parts of the conversation. Not to mention of course, in the not-too-distant future, of the recreational kind.