The co-founder of a troubled Kiwi cannabis company has hit back at his former business associates.

Brendon Ogilvy, who served as the CEO of Tauranga-based Medicann, has approached the Herald to tell his side of the story.

Today, he confirmed he has been engaged in a months-long stoush with founder Ross Smith, which ultimately led to the liquidation of the company.

"[The] decision was largely driven by 19 paying investors," he told said.


Ogilvy said that a total $1.5 million had been invested in the business since it was founded in March last year, rather than the "just under $3 million" as earlier suggested by a source.

The liquidators' report showed that current year losses for the business sat at $808,000. This left the business with a surplus of $616,141.

Asked what this money went toward, Ogilvy said "a lot of legal costs" in reference to the ongoing legal problems behind the scenes.

At this stage, it is still unclear whether investors will get much of their money back.

It's understood that the liquidator will be proceeding with a High Court Hearing to determine the facts of the case and to determine if there was any wrongdoing on either side.

Further to the difference in accounts, Ogilvy strongly disagreed with elements of the version of events provided by former Medicann chairperson Dr Franz Strydom.

Read more:
Up in smoke: Kiwi cannabis firm in liquidation as founders battle

In speaking to the Herald, Strydom expressed concerns about the high salaries executives were being paid and also about the fact that, as chairman, he did not have a say when some salaries were increased.


In response, Ogilvy strongly denied that executives at the business gave themselves salary raises. He declined to comment on the salaries of non-executive staff and contractors.

He did, however, confirm that a contract leaked to the Herald showing his salary to be $180,000 per annum was accurate.

He said this was the salary offered to him upon the formation of the business.

Regardless of the salaries, Ogilvy says that this was not the reason behind the failure of the business.

"Seventy-five per cent of the investors voted to liquidate the company," Ogilvy said.

"It wasn't an issue of spending too much. It was solvent."

The issue was to do with the management of the business.

Ogilvy said he is not currently considering starting another cannabis company following the failure of Medicann.