Medbox Inc. Founder P. Vincent Mehdizadeh is letting 13 million shares of his company go up in smoke, raising the value of those held by others.

Mehdizadeh, who briefly became a billionaire on paper when shares of his West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensing firm hit $52.50 in early 2014, said in a Wednesday press release that he would be retiring 2 million preferred shares, which are convertible to 10 million common shares, plus another 3 million common shares in his possession, effectively removing them from circulation.

After the share retirement, Mehdizadeh will hold about 11.8 million shares, worth just $1.5 million as of Wednesday’s closing price.

Mehdizadeh said he will also be donating 1 million shares each to the Marijuana Policy Project and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and has also pledged 3 million shares to a charity he founded.

“This share retirement is a token of my appreciation to the shareholders that made me proud to be associated with Medbox when it was a leader in the cannabis sector,” Mehdizadeh said in the press release.

After the announcement Wednesday, a day that saw broad stock market gains, Medbox shares soared 60 percent to 13 cents a share.

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