Harvest working to resolve medical marijuana ownership dispute in Ohio

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Harvest Health & Recreation is working with Ohio regulators to resolve ownership questions that put three cannabis dispensaries in limbo and the Arizona company’s cultivation facility in the state under scrutiny.

The issues are in addition to those that Harvest is working on in Pennsylvania, where regulators revoked a license to a growing operation Harvest recently acquired.

The scrutiny of Harvest’s Ohio unit comes after regulators concluded that the cultivation operation isn’t owned and controlled by an African American as claimed on a license application, according to The (Cincinnati) Enquirer.

Harvest previously said the operation was majority-owned by an economically disadvantaged group, resulting in the company winning one of 12 cultivation licenses over applicants that otherwise had higher scores, the newspaper reported.

Alex Howe, Harvest’s head of communications, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily on Thursday that the company “objects to the (state’s) unfair characterization of both the nature and intent of our business relationship with Ms. (Ariane) Kirkpatrick.”

Kirkpatrick, an African American, was listed on the company’s license application.

While Harvest didn’t require a capital investment from Kirkpatrick, she contributed “expertise and sweat equity” to the project and is the majority owner of the cultivation entity, Harvest Grows, according to Howe.

Harvest said it is working closely with Ohio regulators to modify its agreement to more accurately reflect Kirkpatrick’s control.

In Pennsylvania, Howe wrote, Harvest is working to resolve the issues that led regulators there to strip a cultivation license for an alleged lack of marijuana tracking records and security camera footage.