The new was big: Aphria would be putting a sizable amount of cash toward buying into a Florida weed deal, with dispensaries and CBD and a state filled with seniors, health refugees, and stoners and a limited number of licenses.
What could go wrong, right?
And to that, Florida says, “Hold my beer.”
A lucrative deal that would place a private Fort Lauderdale equity firm at the center of Florida’s fast-growing medical marijuana market is at risk of collapsing amid allegations of “ransom demands” and a corporate coup inside a state-licensed pot dispensary.
According to the details of a lawsuit brought by politically connected Panhandle developer Jay Odom against his partners, the shareholders of the Chestnut Hill Tree Farm cannabis nursery in Alachua have splintered over the pending sale of the company’s assets to a new operator. A partnership between South Florida’s Delavaco Group and publicly traded Canadian cannabis conglomerate Aphria announced the planned acquisition this month, but infighting has jeopardized the chances of completing a sale by a June 1 deadline.
According to the Miami Herald, the company at the heart of the deal is valued at $177 million, being as it’s one of only seven in the state with the license Aphria is looking for.
But it gets more complicated when you learn that some of the characters in the deal aren’t the type of characters that would make it through a Health Canada background check.
[W. Todd] Schweizer, who is currently fighting a felony charge that he illegally abandoned a commercial dump years ago in Bay County, argued that Odom had voted to approve the sale of CHT Medical’s assets without proper approval from CBD Equity.
Odom, once sentenced to six months in prison for federal campaign finance violations, accuses Schweizer of tortious interference in the sale of the company, and is asking a judge to approve an injunction barring him from “interfering” in the deal.
Good luck, Aphria. As bad as this deal might be going, knowing Florida, you may actually have picked the best of the bunch.
— Chris Parry
Hat tip to MJBizDaily for finding the original story.