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Actor Sacha Baron Cohen made a surprising move this week, dropping his lawsuit against a cannabis dispensary for their use of his likeness on a billboard in 2021 without obtaining permission from the Borat star.
The original court documents alleged that Solar Therapeutics, the Massachusetts-licensed medical marijuana company, “deliberately featured the portrait, picture, image, likeness, and persona of Mr. Baron Cohen and his 'Borat' movie character in a commercial billboard... on a busy interstate highway in Massachusetts ... without permission of any kind.”
The billboard, which was used to promote a nearby dispensary, featured the actor in his role as fictional Kazakhstanian troublemaker Borat holding up two thumbs along with the phrase, "It’s Nice!" a catchphrase used often by the character.
In the complaint, Cohen’s attorneys argued that the actor “never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis and that the use of his image falsely conveyed to the public that he endorsed the company’s products,” reported AP. The billboard was taken down a few days after the actor's legal team sent a cease-and-desist order to the pot shop's owners.
Cohen isn’t the first celebrity to experience this kind of cannabis-based identity theft. Earlier this year, actor Mayim Bialik addressed her followers on Twitter warning them of an online scam for CBD gummies featuring her likeness. Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood have been targets of online scams for multiple CBD companies as well, with Eastwood being awarded more than $6 million in damages. For now, stoners looking to get lifted off celebrity-endorsed greens should stick to actors that have actually gone on record about their consumption.