Genius Fund’s billionaire owner Dmitry Bosov was found dead, in an apparent suicide, on May 6.
When the authorities in Plumas County, California, inspected a new commercial hemp plantation in April 2019, they were so alarmed by what they found that they sought to impose a temporary moratorium on the emerging industry in unincorporated local towns.
Greeted at the property by two armed guards with false identification papers, the local authorities found “one of, if not the largest, hemp operation in the state of California” with trees cut down and carted away, greenhouses going up and drainage being built without permits, they said at a public hearing two months later.
Representatives of Genius Fund, the cannabis-focused start-up based in Los Angeles that was developing the roughly 1,000-acre spot — the size of about 750 American football fields — told Plumas authorities they were cooperating with two research universities, tapping a California legal loophole that would allow them to begin operations without all the permitting. However, Plumas officials said they contacted the universities and neither confirmed a relationship with the company. Shortly thereafter, Genius Fund left the county.
“It demonstrates a flagrant disregard for our county, our rules, our regulations, our building codes,” then Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood told the June 4, 2019 hearing. “To engage in something this flagrant speaks to a frame of mind. And I find it very disturbing and I find it unacceptable.”