COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2022
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
NOTE 20 – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
The Company is the lessee under six operating leases and four finance leases. These leases contain rent holidays and customary escalations of lease payments for the type of facilities being leased. The Company recognizes rent expense on a straight-line basis over the expected lease term, including cancelable option periods which the Company fully expects to exercise. Certain leases require the payment of property taxes, insurance and/or maintenance costs in addition to the rent payments.
The details of the Company’s operating lease agreements are as follows:
The Company leases machinery and office equipment under finance leases that expire in February 2024 through February 2026 with such terms being a major part of the economic useful life of the leased property.
The components of lease expense for the three months ended March 31, 2022 were as follows (in thousands):
SCHEDULE OF COMPONENTS OF LEASE EXPENSE
The weighted average remaining lease term for operating leases is 7.1 years, and for finance leases is 3.8 years. The weighted average discount rate used to determine the right-of-use assets and lease liabilities is between 7.5% to 12.0% for all leases.
Future minimum lease payments as of March 31, 2022 under all non-cancelable leases having an initial or remaining term of more than one year were (in thousands):
SCHEDULE OF FUTURE MINIMUM LEASE PAYMENTS UNDER ALL NON CANCELABLE OPERATING LEASES
In November 2021, the Company entered into lease agreements for six retail properties, each with square footage between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet, in the state of Ohio (each an “Ohio Lease” and collectively the “Ohio Leases”). Each Ohio Lease has an initial lease period of eleven months, with a minimum rent of $31.00 per square foot which increases 3.0% annually. In the event the Company is awarded one or more of the six Ohio cannabis licenses for which it had previously applied, the Company can extend the term of one or more of the Ohio Leases to ten years (with two additional five-year options to extend) upon the payment of $50,000 for each extended Ohio Lease, and develop the premises of such extended lease(s) into a cannabis dispensary.
In February 2022, the Company was notified that it was awarded a cannabis dispensary license from the state of Ohio. The Company is awaiting the final verification process to be completed by the state. As of March 31, 2022, the lease terms of the Ohio Leases were all less than one year, and accordingly the Company was not required to record a right-of-use asset and corresponding lease liability on its balance sheet.
In April 2022, the Company extended the term of one of the Ohio Leases, and the remaining five Ohio Leases were terminated.
Terminated Employment Agreement
An employment agreement which commenced in 2012 with Thomas Kidrin, the former CEO of the Company, was terminated by the Company in 2017. Since the termination date, the Company had maintained an accrual of approximately $1,043,000 for any amounts that may be owed under this agreement.
In July 2019, Mr. Kidrin, also a former director of the Company, filed a complaint in the Massachusetts Superior Court, which alleged the Company failed to pay all wages owed to him and breached the employment agreement, and requested multiple damages, attorney fees, costs, and interest. The Company moved to dismiss certain counts of the complaint and asserted counterclaims against Mr. Kidrin alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, money had and received, and unjust enrichment.
In August 2021, the parties entered into a settlement agreement and general release pursuant to which (i) Mr. Kidrin’s complaint was dismissed with prejudice, (ii) the Company issued to Mr. Kidrin five-year warrants to purchase up to 1,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock at an exercise price of $0.50 per share, (iii) the Company irrevocably transferred intangible assets relating to the online virtual worlds business the Company had conducted in early 2014, prior to its pivot into the legal cannabis industry (such assets had zero carrying value on the Company’s balance sheet), and (iv) each party released and discharged the other from all claims, losses, and liabilities.
In August 2021, the fair value of the warrants of approximately $776,000 was charged to compensation expense, and the Company reversed its accrual of approximately $1,043,000
Following the consummation of the Kind acquisition previously discussed in Note 3 – Acquisitions, in April 2022, the Maryland litigation between the Company and the members of Kind was dismissed in its entirety with prejudice, and the parties have released one another of any and all claims between them.
In April 2022, the parties agreed to dismiss all direct claims and counterclaims asserted in this litigation, as set forth below. In addition to their direct claims, the parties also asserted derivative claims, which may be dismissed only with the court’s approval. On April 12, 2022, the court approved the form of notice to be delivered to unit holders of Mia Development LLC (“Mia”) and Mari Holdings MD LLC (“Mari-MD”), majority-owned subsidiaries of the Company, and scheduled a hearing to approve dismissal of all derivative claims for June 8, 2022.
In this action, Jennifer DiPietro, one of the former members of Kind, directly and derivatively on behalf of Mari-MD and Mia, commenced a suit in August 2020 against the Company’s CEO, CFO, and wholly-owned subsidiary MariMed Advisors Inc. (“MMA”), in Suffolk Superior Court, Massachusetts. DiPietro brought claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud in the inducement, aiding and abetting the alleged breach of fiduciary duty, and also sought access to books and records and an accounting related to her investments in Mari-MD and Mia. DiPietro sought unspecified money damages and rescission of her interest in Mari-MD, but not of her investment in Mia, which had provided substantial returns to her as a member.
The Company answered the complaint and MMA filed counterclaims against DiPietro on its own behalf and derivatively on behalf of Mari-MD for breach of her fiduciary duties to each of those entities, and for tortious interference with Mari-MD’s lease and MMA’s management services agreement with Kind.
In December 2021, the parties entered into a global confidential settlement and release agreement, along with the parties to the aforementioned Maryland litigation. As of the same date, MMA and Jennifer DiPietro entered into a membership interest purchase agreement pursuant to which the Company will purchase DiPietro’s interests in Mia and Mari-MD, as previously discussed in Note 3 – Acquisitions. Upon the court’s approval on the parties’ joint motion for approval on June 8, 2022, the purchase DiPietro’s interests shall be consummated, the parties shall release all direct and derivative claims against one another, and the parties shall file stipulations dismissing all claims and counterclaims with prejudice within three days of that ruling.
During 2019, the Company’s MMH subsidiary sold and delivered hemp seed inventory to GenCanna Global Inc., a Kentucky-based cultivator, producer, and distributor of hemp (“GenCanna”). At the time of sale, the Company owned a 33.5% ownership interest in GenCanna. The Company recorded a related party receivable of approximately $29.0 million from the sale, which was fully reserved on December 31, 2019.
In February 2020, GenCanna USA, GenCanna’s wholly-owned operating subsidiary, under pressure from certain of its creditors including MGG Investment Group LP, GenCanna’s senior lender (“MGG”), agreed to convert a previously-filed involuntary bankruptcy proceeding with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky (the “Bankruptcy Court”) into a voluntary Chapter 11 proceeding. In addition, GenCanna and GenCanna USA’s subsidiary, Hemp Kentucky LLC (collectively with GenCanna and GenCanna USA, the “GenCanna Debtors”), filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in the Bankruptcy Court.
In May 2020, after an abbreviated solicitation/bid/sale process, the Bankruptcy Court, over numerous objections by creditors and shareholders of the GenCanna Debtors which included the Company, entered an order authorizing the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the GenCanna Debtors to MGG. After the consummation of the sale of all or substantially all of their assets and business, the GenCanna Debtors n/k/a OGGUSA, Inc. and OGG, Inc. (the “OGGUSA Debtors”) filed their liquidating plan of reorganization (the “Liquidating Plan”) to collect various prepetition payments and commercial claims against third parties, liquidate the remaining assets of the ODDUSA Debtors, and make payments to creditors. The Company and the unsecured creditors committee filed objections to such Liquidating Plan, including opposition to the release of litigation against the OGGUSA Debtors’ senior lender, MGG, for lender liability, equitable subordination, and return of preference. As a part of such plan confirmation process, the OGGUSA Debtors filed various objections to proofs of claims filed by various creditors, including the proof of claim in the amount of approximately $33.6 million filed by the Company. Through intense and lengthy negotiations with the OGGUSA Debtors and the unsecured creditors committee regarding the objections to the Liquidating Plan, the Company reached an agreement with the OGGUSA Debtors to withdraw the objections to the Company’s claim and to have it approved by the Bankruptcy Court as a general unsecured claim in the amount of $31.0 million.
Since the approval of the Liquidating Plan, the OGGUSA Debtors have been in the process of liquidating the remaining assets, negotiating and prosecuting objections to other creditors’ claims, and pursuing the collection of accounts receivable and Chapter 5 bankruptcy avoidance claims.
In January 2022, the Company, at the request of the Liquidating Plan administrator for the OGGUSA Debtors, executed a written release of claims, if any, of the Company against Huron Consulting Group (“Huron”), a financial consulting and management company retained by the senior lender of the OGGUSA Debtors to perform loan management services for the lender and OGGUSA Debtors prior to and during their Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Such release was executed in connection with a comprehensive settlement agreement between the OGGUSA Debtors and Huron. In consideration for the Company’s execution of the release, Huron paid an additional $40,000 to the bankruptcy estates of the OGGUSA Debtors to be included in the funds to be distributed to creditors, including the Company.
As of the date of this filing, there is still insufficient information as to what portion, if any, of the Company’s allowed claim will be paid upon the completion of the liquidation of the remaining assets of the OGGUSA Debtors.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef