Canadian producer’s purchase of Florida CBD company in danger

The sale of a licensed CBD business in Florida to a Canadian medical cannabis producer is threatening to unravel amid a high-stakes lawsuit and allegations of a power grab that has splintered the directors of the dispensary targeted for acquisition.

According to a lawsuit filed by developer Jay Odom against his partners, the shareholders in Chestnut Hill Tree Farm have split over the pending sale of the CBD business to Aphria, a federally licensed Canadian MMJ grower, the Miami Herald reported.

The transaction is the product of a partnership between Aphria and Delavaco Group, a South Florida holding company. Under the deal, which is scheduled to close June 1, Aphria planned to invest 25 million Canadian dollars ($18.63 million) in a transaction that would lead to the purchase of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm.

Aphria is interested in Chestnut Hill Tree Farm because it’s one of seven licensed businesses participating in Florida’s CBD-focused program. Chestnut Hill Tree Farm also is poised to participate in the state’s new, full-strength medical marijuana program.

Odom’s lawsuit alleges that shortly after the Aphria-Delavaco partnership was struck, an attorney who is one of the dispensary’s directors went “rogue” and negotiated with Delavaco behind Odom’s back, the Herald reported.

The attorney, Robert Beasley, said that as manager of companies invested in Chestnut Tree Hill Farm he held a right of first refusal under the company’s operating agreement to match any offer to buy shares. But Odom said Beasley’s claims amounted to “ransom demands,” according to the Herald.

In response, Odom and Delavaco bought Chestnut’s Hill Tree Farm and chose to manage them indirectly under a new corporation approved March 30, Odom said in the lawsuit.