Want to Win Over Local Officials? Offer MMJ Equity Deal

Medical marijuana companies seeking approval from local municipalities to settle within their borders may want to consider the path that Harvest Inc. took to the town of Hancock in western Maryland.

Harvest, an Arizona-based company that hopes to establish a cultivation and production facility in Maryland, recently offered Hancock a 5% equity stake in its local operation if it’s successful in winning a license.

Town officials agreed, cementing what appears to be the first such agreement between a municipality and a medical cannabis company. Such deals could become more common across the country if the partnership proves fruitful for both sides.

Under the deal, Hancock would get 5% of the profits derived from the facility, which is expected to employ more than 125 people.

But first, Harvest must win one of the 15 cultivation licenses allotted by the state.

While a license is no guarantee, the town’s mayor told Herald Mail Media that the equity deal strengthens Harvest’s application, given that the company now has strong backing from local officials.

Maryland’s license application deadline is Nov. 6.

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6 comments on “Want to Win Over Local Officials? Offer MMJ Equity Deal
  1. Chris Lindsey on

    I’m curious if there are any preemption issues here. I seem to recall a city (or perhaps county) in Illinois considering something similar involving government-owned property and a prospective cultivator, but I’m not sure if anything came of it. Its one thing to tax and regulate activity, but its possible taxes might be considered different than more directly benefiting from marijuana-related activity under a contract. Or maybe not. No doubt these are interesting times.

  2. Dan on

    So now it’s being flatly suggested to essentially bribe local governments with giving them a piece of the action beyond normal taxes?!?! Basically what I just read tells me to increase my odds of getting approved it would behoove me to give a piece of the company. How very mafia like! Or corrupt business and politician like. Thus a few months ago the people using our tax dollars to arrest and imprison us are now to be on the payroll!

    • Robin on

      I echo Dan on this. If there are multiple
      Applicants in a County the Applicant
      that gives the most Equity wins the Approval letter. We must demonstrate County Cooperation with our company
      It is part of the Application no County would endorse a Company that gives little or no Equity. This is a Bribe

  3. John Santamaria on

    The application process and merits by which the applicants are selected should be Transparent and Equal for All Applicants. Allowing the Local Counsel to accept any inducement other than the taxes and fees equal for all creates a bidding war of Bribes. Why only 5%, why not 50/50, now the tail is wagging the dog. “And we see this as NORMAL?” Politics in America has become so utterly corrupted that we now see Bribes as Business as Usual? We criticize other countries for their bribery and corruption while our own Government “Representatives” deal in this manner. The US Government is free to tax the people at will with no accountability for what they spend it on. This is also a conflict of interest when it comes time for inspections and compliance. Will the Council be more lenient since they have a vested interest? This opens a Pandoras’ box for corruption, and Government, especially local cronies, should stay out of Business and do their JOBS.

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