WILLIAMSPORT -- The location of a business that plans to sell medical marijuana in Lycoming County is in question.
A company awarded a dispensary permit learned Thursday that the place they had planned to set up shop has been sold to someone else.
Keystone Center for Integrated Wellness calls the development heartbreaking.
A spokeswoman says that her company spent countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars on its winning application for a medical marijuana dispensary in Williamsport -- only to find that their hopes were sold right out from under them.
The building on West Fourth Street's fate now is in limbo -- will it be home to a company awarded a marijuana dispensary permit or a new hair salon?
Keystone Center for Integrated Wellness hoped to have the building ready to sell marijuana in pill, gel, cream and oil forms by next year. In March, the company based in Carlisle signed a lease agreement with George Hutchinson, the realtor who owned the building.
Meanwhile, a couple from Williamsport says it bought the former Cross-Fit studio from Hutchinson this past Friday. They say they had no idea about Keystone's lease.
When Newswatch 16 went down to Hutchinson's real estate office in Williamsport, an associate sent us to the firm's lawyer downtown. We got as far as the front door of the Mathers Law Firm, but Attorney Daniel Mathers would not give us an on camera interview.
Newswatch 16 did, however, obtain a letter from Mathers to Keystone Center for Integrated Wellness. The letter claims Hutchinson could be in trouble if he rented a building to a medical marijuana dispensary. It reads...
"...under the current regulatory scheme...all of his commercial loans could be called in and the lenders could no longer do business with my client. Due to these implications, my client has exercised the right to terminate the lease."
The letter was dated for Wednesday, July 5th, which was five days after the property was sold -- and six days after the state awarded Keystone a medical marijuana dispensary permit.
A spokeswoman for Keystone says it is considering taking Hutchinson to court over the matter.
Keystone could also transfer its dispensary permit to another location within Lycoming County, but the process of finding a location, getting it approved by the state, and meeting the deadline of being ready to open by the end of the year is a tall order.
The couple who believes they now own the building says they are moving forward with their plans to open a hair salon, but are also preparing for a potential court case.