Level Up marijuana dispensary in Tempe on July 10, 2020. (Photo: Catherine Rafferty/The Republic)
Two Arizona men led a “hostile takeover” of Level Up marijuana dispensaries in Scottsdale and Tempe when MedMen Enterprises Inc. failed to pay the remaining $12 million owed them from selling to the national chain last year, according to court documents.
MedMen officials warned of “a fight in the street,” amid a weeks-long ownership dispute, according to court documents, although the dispute never came to that.
MedMen owed the managers of the Level Up dispensaries the balance of a $33 million sale last year.
The details of the bitter deal gone bad are laid bare in court documents. They show the two men who sold to MedMen renegotiated the sale repeatedly this year as MedMen tried to resell the shops to pay them off.
The men who controlled the management companies for the dispensaries, C. Michael Colburn and Daryll DeSantis, eventually forced their way into one of the shops last month. They canceled workers’ state-issued dispensary-worker cards and changed the locks on the building to get rid of MedMen.
After that, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Danielle Viola issued an order June 26 preserving the status quo, allowing Colburn and DeSantis to keep control of the shops while the litigation plays out.
Viola also ordered MedMen to cooperate with renewing the licenses at the dispensaries and not to interfere with management.
The MedMen logos are gone from the shops, and many of the workers have been rehired.
$33 million deal for dispensaries
In 2018, MedMen, which is technically a Canadian company but with headquarters in Los Angeles, announced a deal to buy the Level Up dispensaries near the Scottsdale Airport and on University Drive in Tempe.