Trulieve Cannabis, Maryland town going to mediation in profit dispute

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The Maryland town of Hancock and Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis are locked in a dispute over how much money the marijuana multistate operator owes the municipality as part of a unique deal that dates to 2015.

The town, which has nonparticipating equity in Trulieve, alleges it is entitled to higher payouts and an inside view of company profits in Maryland’s newly launched adult-use cannabis market, The Washington Post reported.

Trulieve and Hancock, population 1,500, are set for mediation on Aug. 30, according to the newspaper.

Grappling with poverty and high unemployment, Hancock officials agreed to allow Arizona-based marijuana company Harvest to open a medical cannabis cultivation and processing facility in the town in exchange for 4.99% equity in the business in 2015.

Since then, Harvest – which became known as Harvest Health & Recreation – went public in 2020 and then Trulieve acquired the Arizona company in a 2021 deal valued at $2.1 billion.

Maryland legalized adult-use marijuana last year, and sales launched in July.

The new recreational market generated $21 million in sales in its first week and more than $87 million in its first month.

Hancock has received a total of $703,193.96 from Trulieve since the deal was signed, town officials told the Post.

The Western Maryland town has also lost out on federal government grants because marijuana is still federally illegal.