Sacha Baron Cohen sues Massachusetts cannabis dispensary over ad featuring his character Borat

Regional News

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is suing a cannabis dispensary in Somerset, Mass. for using his character Borat on a billboard without his permission, according to documents filed Monday in US District Court in Boston.

The billboard in question from Solar Therapeutics Inc. was used to greet drivers along Interstate-195 in Massachusetts, and while it’s no longer there, it’s still in the spotlight.

The billboard shows Baron Cohen posing as Borat to promote the company with the phrase, “It’s nice!” a reference to one of his character’s popular catchphrases, as well as, “Happy 4/20!”

According to court documents, the dispensary never got permission from Baron Cohen to use his image and likeness in the advertisement. The lawsuit also says the actor has never used cannabis in his life and would never help advertise the product for any amount of money.

The lawsuit goes on to read, “Cannabis remains a controversial product that Mr. Baron Cohen has no interest in endorsing, promoting, or advertising. He would be appalled if his young children were to discover, mistakenly or otherwise, that he was associated with the promotion of cannabis.”

According to the lawsuit, Baron Cohen and his company are suing Solar Therapeutics and its president for at least $9 million in damages.

The billboard was taken down in April, three days after Baron Cohen’s attorney sent the dispensary a cease and desist letter.

12 News has reached out to the owners for a response to the lawsuit but has not yet heard back.

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