$140 million Colorado marijuana ownership dispute revived by judge

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A long ownership dispute over Colorado marijuana retail chain Native Roots isn’t settled, after all.

A Denver judge has thrown out a $140 million arbitration award granted to founders Josh Ginsberg and Rhett Jordan, who were challenging an attempted sale by owner/investor Peter Knobel and his company, Brightstar.

Ginsberg and Jordan were awarded the money in March by an arbitrator who sided with them when they accused Knobel of breach of contract and other missteps in the attempted sale in 2017.

Knobel appealed to a Denver judge, who recently vacated the arbitration award, according to Denver alt-weekly Westword.

District Judge J. Eric Elliff  cited “legal error” in how the arbitration was handled.

According to arbitration records, the ownership dispute began in 2017, when Knobel tried to sell Native Roots and attempted to take over Ginsberg and Jordan’s ownership portions of the company in order to complete a sale, according to records.

Jordan and a Native Roots spokesperson didn’t immediately comment to Westword about the latest development.

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Currently operating 20 stores in Colorado, Native Roots is still co-owned by Brightstar, Ginsberg and Jordan, Westword reported. Brightstar is the majority owner.

Earlier this year, Jordan said that Native Roots continues to apply for new business licenses in Colorado and look at further expansion.