Maine’s largest medical marijuana firm at heart of business dispute

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Maine’s biggest medical cannabis operator is trying to end its relationship with a company behind its fast-growing edibles operation.

Wellness Connection, based in Portland, Maine, contends CanWell of Rhode Island is to blame for $14 million in losses caused by low yields from its extraction equipment and processes.

CanWell, meanwhile, says the charges were trumped up so Wellness Connection and its corporate parent, Acreage Holdings, can claim the lucrative New England cannabis extraction market for themselves, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The dispute in Maine is part of a larger legal tangle between CanWell and Acreage, a New York-based multistate cannabis operator.

CanWell last week filed an arbitration request in Rhode Island, alleging that Acreage breached a noncompete contract by pursuing competing marijuana business opportunities in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In Maine, CanWell said Wellness Connection has stopped making its 20% sales royalties and, thus, owes the Rhode Island company at least $650,000.

According to CanWell, Acreage owns 97.4% of the company that runs Wellness Connection, and executives on the Wellness board do Acreage’s bidding.

Wellness Connection has four dispensaries in Maine and a cultivation and processing center, according to Acreage regulatory filings.

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– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily