Founded by Nick Rellas and two other young Boston College alumni in 2012, Drizly quickly acquired a national profile. Rellas and co-founder Justin Robinson — now the company’s senior vice president of new business — were recognized as two of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” entrepreneurs in 2015.
In August, however, Drizly dismissed Nick Rellas, though he was set to continue on as a member of Drizly’s board, according to the complaint. At the time, Cory Rellas, now CEO, characterized the change as a friendly one, telling the Boston Globe that he and his cousin had “worked side by side” since the company’s founding and that Nick would “be as much a part of the business but in a different role.” Cory joined Drizly in 2013.
Nick left the Drizly board in October, according to the complaint. When he did, he was bound by an agreement that barred him from competing with Drizly on any business it had entered or planned to enter, the complaint said. Drizly claims that he participated in its planning to enter cannabis.
But since leaving Drizly, he has founded a cannabis e-commerce venture, going so far as to ask Drizly to invest in his business, according to court filings. A man named Nick Rellas filed a certificate of organization with the state in late January for a “consulting services” business named Timshel LLC. The address listed on the certificate is the same as one Drizly previously used. No further information about the business is listed in the certificate, and a call to a phone number at that address was not returned.
A filing in the court case on Monday said the parties were in settlement negotiations.
The court filings do not specify definitively that Drizly intends to enter cannabis delivery, only referring to “cannabis e-commerce.” The parts of the complaint referencing Drizly’s geographic markets of interest are redacted.
Recreational marijuana delivery is only available in three of the 10 states that have legalized the drug. California allows home delivery of cannabis across all municipalities. Oregon allows delivery for cultivators that don’t operate dispensaries. Nevada also allows retailers to work with contracted employees to deliver product to people’s homes.
Medical marijuana delivery is more widely available in many of the 43 states that have legalized the medical drug.
In Massachusetts, recreational marijuana delivery is still being discussed. Regulators have suggested that delivery licenses only be available to smaller applicants to encourage increased diversity in the industry. The state is developing regulations around delivery, slated to be issued in June.