The medical marijuana dispensary accused of pressuring a pharmacist to engage in illegal activity by “testing” its products fired back Thursday, calling the lawsuit a “shakedown” by an “incompetent” former employee.
Carol Kopiak, of Wilkes-Barre, filed a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit Wednesday against Justice Grown in the Edwardsville Gateway Shopping Center, alleging she was fired after refusing to obtain a medical marijuana card for the purposes of being able to “speak from experience” to customers.
But in a statement issued Thursday, the company alleges Kopiak has been trying to win a settlement by threatening the company’s reputation.
“Last year, she tried to pressure us into settling with her, threatening to try to harm our company’s reputation by filing this lawsuit if we didn’t pay her, but it’s not going to work,” read the statement, released by Managing Pharmacist Cheryl Wilson. “We’re not going to pay her anything, so she needs to go find someone else to bring frivolous complaints against.”
According to the complaint filed by the Philadelphia-based Murphy Law Group, shortly after Kopiak was hired in January 2018, dispensary owner Abbe Kruger discussed having her seen by a doctor to be diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder so she could “use and test” the facility’s products.
Kopiak, who had been the victim of a robbery and hostage situation at a previous job, told Kruger she does have PTSD and would in fact qualify for medical marijuana, but that she did not want to because her doctor didn’t think it was necessary and another part-time job she had at a hospital prohibited it.
In response, Kruger wrote back that it “just would have been nice to speak from experience,” according to the complaint.
Kopiak was fired about a week later, purportedly