State will appeal judge's order to award Ohio dispensary operator Greenleaf Apothecaries certificate of operation – Crain's Cleveland Business


The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is appealing a judge’s order to issue a certificate of operation to Ohio marijuana dispensary operator Greenleaf Apothecaries — which operates its retail shops under The Botanist brand that it licenses from big cannabis company Acreage Holdings — in a legal battle centering on rules governing the medical marijuana control program.

Cleveland-based Greenleaf is provisionally licensed to run five medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio, the maximum number one entity can operate here. It opened Botanist stores in Wickliffe and Canton earlier this year, while sites in Cleveland, Columbus and Akron have yet to come online.

Other related Greenleaf entities include Greenleaf Gardens, a Level 1 (large) cultivation facility, and Greenleaf Therapeutics, a processing plant. Both are planned for Middlefield.

Although provisionally licensed, a business must still secure a certificate of operation (COO) from state agencies before officially opening cultivation, processing or dispensary facilities.

In July, the Board of Pharmacy, which oversees dispensaries, alleged that Greenleaf and another, separate company — Harvest Ohio LLC, which is looking to open three dispensaries and applied for those as an “economically disadvantaged group” — possibly lied or otherwise provided misleading information in their pertinent state applications, as first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Greenleaf was looking to secure its COO for its Cleveland dispensary at the time.

The complete substance of those allegations is unclear at this point. Both companies filed restraining orders to prevent the release of related information that would be included in state-issued hearing notices on the grounds it would reveal trade secrets.

Earlier this month, Judge William Woods approved the injunction for Harvest. A decision regarding Greenleaf has not yet been issued.

While specific details aren’t public at this time, Greenleaf’s issues with the state seem to center on ownership of the business, which indeed

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