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Know the corporate players in the initiative

While Ms. Cleary is the Sausalito face of this initiative, Otter Brands and its founder/CEO, Conor Johnston, is the entity and lead partner.

Based on the last FPPC required funding disclosure, as of September 28, 2022, 95% of the funding for Measure K came from out of town. And the remaining 5% is from a part owner who would profit from Measure K passing.

What is Otter Brands?

Otter Brands is a California LLC formed several years ago by Conor Johnston who is part owner of a cannabis store in the Haight called Berner’s On Haight.


Who is Conor Johnston?

William Conor Johnston is part owner of a cannabis store called Berners on Haight in San Francisco. In addition to being an owner of Berner's on Haight, Johnston is also a cannabis consultant (Conor Johnston Consulting), seeking to advise cannabis businesses around the state. Johnston previously divided his time between San Diego and San Francisco, but last year told a reporter he is living in the Pacific Northwest. 

In 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Ethics Commission addressed a complaint against Johnston for his failure to register income with the city. In 2020, Johnston was called out for “gaming programs meant to help people of color” when he opened his Berner’s cannabis store in San Francisco. 


Now in 2022, Johnston's lawyers sued to have an equity applicant removed from the Sausalito ballot. While Johnston denied this in person to a room of Sausalito business owners and residents at a Sausalito Chamber of Commerce event on October 13th, their “Sausalito Local, Yes on K” Form 460 shows the dollar amount paid to their lawyers for this lawsuit.


Lastly, while Johnston is misleading Sausalito voters to expand his cannabis business here, he is also misleading Laguna Beach residents to expand his business there–and once again using the “local” tagline.


Who is Berner?

Berner, also know as Gilbert Milam, Jr. is the founder of an international cannabis conglomerate worth at least $1 billion (Forbes, August 2022). Berner became famous for his "Girl Scout Cookies" cannabis products, which was later changed to "Cookies" after the threat of a lawsuit by Girl Scouts of America. Berner's is known for marketing tactics geared toward kids with branded products such as “smell proof” backpacks, skateboards, hooded sweatshirts and even teddy bears. Today, Cookie's strains have names like Sticky Buns, Berry Pie, Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton and Snoop Dog. Cookies' products contain up to over 90% THC (the active ingredient that gets users high). 

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