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.