A line illustration of the cannabis sativa plant.
Nordisk familjebok [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

November 18, 2019; Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a southern New Jersey nonprofit “alternative treatment center” called the Compassionate Care Foundation will soon be bought by a politically connected for-profit behemoth called Acreage Holdings.

The two entities have a past relationship as partners. The foundation operates one retail outlet and has the potential to operate two others, according to Acreage’s statement. It also operates a “grow facility” in a former Trump Casino warehouse.

It is unclear how the assets of the nonprofit will be handled in the proposed sale because, of course, the individuals involved with it do not own it or its assets. However, yesterday Acreage announced that in anticipation of the state’s okay on selling recreational cannabis, it would be buying 100 percent of the equity interests in CCF. The selling price appears to be $10 million over a note currently owed to Acreage.

Acreage currently has cannabis properties in 20 states, and it appears to be biding its time in the hope of being acquired by a bigger Canadian behemoth, Canopy Growth. Acreage’s board of directors include former US Speaker of the House John Boehner, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Usually, when for-profits acquire nonprofits, the money is placed in a foundation or another nonprofit that stewards it for related purposes, as in the case of health conversion foundations. Negotiations like these often involve guidance and input from the attorney general. We look forward to hearing what the arrangements will be here.—Ruth McCambridge