Harvest of Ohio LLC plans to open three dispensaries in Ohio, including one at this site in Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood. (Photo: Jackie Borchardt/The Cincinnati Enquirer)
COLUMBUS – Harvest of Ohio LLC will “voluntarily” donate $500,000 to the state’s prescription drug reporting database to settle an ownership dispute with state regulators and open its three Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries.
The penalty is among the highest assessed to a state-licensed marijuana business. The agreement means Harvest will be able to open dispensaries in Columbus, Beavercreek and Athens after passing state inspections.
Affiliated cultivation business Harvest Grows LLC can also move ahead with its large-scale grow facility in Lawrence County after reaching an agreement Friday with the Ohio Department of Commerce.
The businesses were accused last year of misrepresenting their ownership to qualify for business licenses set aside for minority-owned companies.
The companies were affiliates of Harvest Health and Recreation, an Arizona-based multi-state operator, but Harvest’s corporate website did not list any Ohio locations Friday. A corporate spokesman said the company has a “licensing and lending agreement” with Harvest of Ohio and Harvest Grows.
Minority ownership dispute
On its marijuana license applications, Harvest of Ohio LLC claimed Ariane Kirkpatrick, an African-American businesswoman from Northeast Ohio, owned and controlled 51% of the company. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy claimed Harvest “committed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in furnishing information” on its application.
Harvest successfully blocked release of the board’s findings last year in response to a records request by The Enquirer.
But the Ohio Department of Commerce released a summary of its investigation into the same issue for related business Harvest Grows, which also listed Kirkpatrick as majority owner.
Corporate structure documents reviewed by the agency showed all CEO duties were