Trulieve Cannabis lands 2 Ohio licenses in settlement with Black-owned operator

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Marijuana multistate operator Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is scooping up two retail licenses in Ohio ahead of the launch of adult-use sales in that state as part of a lawsuit settlement with a Black-owned company.

For nearly a year, Harvest of Ohio and Trulieve have been at odds over an alleged debt of nearly $24 million.

According to initial court filings, Florida-based Trulieve accused Harvest of using that money to fund six-figure salaries while pressing for more capital.

In response, Harvest said Trulieve was attempting to subvert Ohio’s social equity provisions to seize more market share.

Harvest won the permits in part because of the preferential licensing provided by the state’s social equity program.

Trulieve acquired an interest in Harvest’s permits through its 2021 acquisition of Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation.

Settlement details

Under the settlement, according to a news release:

  • Trulieve will acquire Harvest of Ohio and its dispensary permits in Beavercreek and Columbus.
  • Ariane Kirkpatrick, Harvest of Ohio’s current majority owner, will receive a medical cannabis dispensary in Athens. That store will be rebranded Mavuno.
  • A Harvest of Ohio production facility in Ironton will be sold off to “unrelated third parties.”

Other settlement terms are confidential, the release noted.

Trulieve acquired its initial Ohio footprint via a buyout with Harvest Health & Recreation, which was fined $500,000 by the state for allegedly misrepresenting ownership and management duties.

The Florida-headquartered MSO currently operates one dispensary in the state, in Columbus.

Hopes high in Ohio

Considered a relatively weak MMJ market with untapped potential, Ohio is expected to experience a boom after voters legalized recreational cannabis in November 2023.

Ohio’s MMJ dispensaries, which are expected to be the first venues to offer adult-use sales, recorded $484 million in sales last year.

Adult-use sales could begin as soon as this summer.

Business applications are expected to be available June 7.

Mavuno plans to enter the adult-use market, according to the release.

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