CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago marijuana dispensary is in court against an Arizona-based chain of marijuana outlets, alleging the chain agreed to buy the dispensary but invalidated the deal by looking to obtain more dispensary licenses than it can legally hold in Illinois.
Elevele LLC and one of its members, Andrew Hunt, filed a request July 24 for declaratory judgment in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Elevele wants a judge to rule its agreement to be sold to Harvest Enterprises, is no longer in force.
Elevele has run a medical marijuana dispensary in Highland Park since 2016. Harvest, which is based in Tempe, Arizona, operates more than one dozen dispensaries in several states, none of which are in Illinois, according to the suit.
On March 25, Elevele and Harvest signed a deal for Harvest to buy Elevele. The agreement contained a stipulation the purchase would not conflict with or breach any law, but if it did, the deal could be scrapped by June 23.
Elevele said that between March 25 and June 23, Harvest repeatedly said it had contractual rights to buy several other dispensaries in the Chicago suburbs, which would, including Elevele, bring the number of medical marijuana licenses held by Harvest to more than five. However, Illinois law says a single entity can only carry five licenses. As a consequence, Elevele is contending its sale to Harvest would run up against this law.
Elevele contacted Harvest after June 23 to say it was terminating the deal, but Harvest said it had done nothing to justify termination and argued that Elevele must still sell to Harvest, according to Elevele.
In addition, Harvest has not taken action to resolve the potential license issue with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees licenses, Elevele