A Rhode Island cannabis grower has agreed to pay a $625,000 fine and to yank a lawsuit it filed against the state, in exchange for permission to keep its business permit.
STJ LLC, which does business as Fire Ganja, was set to have its grow license revoked by the state Office of Cannabis Control after agents found that the company hadn’t complied with the state track-and-trace system, WPRI reported.
OCC agents found that Fire Ganja had 1,473 marijuana plants, 1,507 ounces of flower, 2,038 ounces of hash, and 276 ounces of concentrates, all without proper tracking tags affixed.
The company filed a lawsuit against the agency in August, in an attempt to gain legal permission to continue doing business despite having been caught evading the track-and-trace system. Regulators then took steps to cancel Fire Ganja’s license over the issue.
Although state regulators originally proposed a $3 million fine for Fire Ganja, the company shot back with an offer of $35,000 in September, WPRI reported at the time.
Fire Ganja agreed to drop the case as of the settlement agreement, and the two sides settled on a fine of $625,000 in an Oct. 31 agreement, WPRI reported. The fine will be paid in four installments over three years.
Fire Ganja co-owner Nick Salvadore told the TV station he was glad that his company was able to reach an accord with the state.
“We’re happy to have some finality in this situation, glad to get our employees back to work as they have been waiting since mid June, and resume creating products for all the patients and customers that have supported us over the years,” Salvadore said.
The settlement also cleared up a dispute over the ownership of Fire Ganja, after the state accused company owners of illegally transferring equity to another company named San Miguel LLC and failing to notify regulators.
Fire Ganja also agreed to a “corrective action plan” that will get all of its inventory entered into the state track-and-trace system.