Northeast Patients Group, a nonprofit licensed to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine, has filed a countersuit against its former backer, arguing the California company failed to provide sufficient capital.
Northeast filed the suit against Berkeley Patients Group Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court, asking a judge to dismiss four of the eight counts levied against it, according to the Portland Press Herald. Berkeley in July sued Northeast and Executive Director Becky DeKeuster, claiming she sought as much as $2 million for the dispensaries in Maine while employed by Berkeley to oversee its expansion here and disclosed proprietary information without Berkeley's consent. Northeast's suit asks the court to dismiss Berkeley's claim for more than $600,000 in unpaid loans, as well as claims of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and use of confidential information.
A lawyer for Northeast said the organization did spend some of the $632,000 Berkeley loaned it, but that it used the money to pay for Boston Red Sox tickets and first-class airfare for Berkeley's CEO. Northeast is also seeking damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for Berkeley's failure to provide the organization with adequate capital, claiming Berkeley's lack of financing delayed the openings of its four dispensaries and forced it to seek another backer. Northeast recently announced a $1.6 million loan from a coalition that includes former NBA star Cuttino Mobley and a California dispensary operator.
Northeast did not file a response to the four other counts, since they were filed against DeKeuster. The case will not likely go to trial until 2013.