An Ohio medical marijuana company has agreed to pay a fine and return $3 million to a New York company to which it planned to sell its licenses.
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy had accused the company, Greenleaf Holdings, of violating the state’s medical marijuana ownership rules.
Under Ohio law, a medical marijuana dispensary license holder cannot sell that license until the dispensary has operated for at least a year.
Greenleaf Apothecaries, which owns dispensaries in Canton and Wickliffe and has three provisional dispensary licenses in Columbus, Akron and Cleveland, had planned to sell those operations to the New York company Acreage Holdings, according to court documents.
Greenleaf owners believed at the time that they were complying with the law, a settlement document said.
Earlier this year, the pharmacy board opened an investigation into the arrangement and determined Greenleaf violated state regulations, which was part of a wide-ranging inquiry into the ownership of several medical marijuana license holders.
As part of a settlement announced Friday afternoon, Greenleaf paid a $300,000 fine and pledged to return $3 million to Acreage to resolve the issue.
The agreement bars Greenleaf from selling any of its dispensaries for 18 months and its business operations, including the hiring of key employees and bill paying, must be conducted by the company’s current ownership, the settlement says.
Kate Nelson, Greenleaf’s chief operating officer, said in a statement: “We are very happy to announce that we have resolved our dispute with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy in a way that allows us to open our remaining three dispensaries in Cleveland, Columbus, and Akron, while maintaining our relationship with Acreage Holdings.”