Harvest, Inc. shows goodwill toward the Town of Hancock by offering an equity stake in the proposed cultivation and processing facility.
White said the minority stake offering is simply a way to show commitment to Hancock, which sits in the narrowest part of the state and is close to both Pennsylvania and West Virginia borders.
“If we are really dedicated to this town, let’s show them,” White said.
James Peck, director of research at the Maryland Municipal League, said there is nothing illegal or unethical about the Harvest-Hancock equity arrangement. The town has a non-voting share and will not be involved in business decisions should Harvest win a license from the state.
“To the extent that the company does that of its own volition, I see nothing illegal about this,” Peck said. “It’s a gesture of goodwill on the part of the company.”
Industry consultant Matt Cook said the equity offer would not help Harvest’s application, but it was still a good move.
“This has no merit on them getting a license,” Cook said. “We can appreciate that they’re trying to do something good for the town.”