A Rhode Island Grower Won a Cannabis Competition, the State Fined it $10,000

A cautionary tale for businesses about cannabis transportation.

As Rhode Island commenced adult-use sales last week, growers will look to compete against those vying for cultivation notoriety. However, one operator’s experience serves as a reminder for those operating in the nascent market.

The state told Rhode Island-based cultivator Mammoth Inc. that it has to cough up $10,000 after the grower took home the top prize in March for a THC flower strain at the New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN).

The issue? The competition took place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston – across the state border. The state’s Office of Cannabis Regulation eventually caught wind of the development after the company posted the win on its Instagram page.

The fine was to be paid in four installments over a nine-month period, with the second payment due at the end of this month.

The enforcement serves as a cautionary tale for businesses looking to subvert the still-current federal prohibition of transporting cannabis product across state lines.

In a September document, regulators stated that Mammoth transported 28 one-gram samples across state lines to be entered into the competition nearly a month prior.

The company’s attorney, Lisa Holley, told NBC 10 WJAR that the company had a booth at the convention but did not sign up for the competition itself, contending that there is no evidence that points to Mammoth as the party that transported the product to Massachusetts.

“They accepted it. That’s what they did wrong,” Holley told the outlet, adding that Mammoth believes someone entered its cannabis in the competition because they liked the product.

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson covers the cannabis industry for The Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Columbia Missourian and has written for The Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants, and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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