The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission fined both TILT Holdings Inc. (CSE: TILT) (OTCQX: TLLTF) and Ayr Strategies (OTC: AYRWF) last week for over $200,000 each as both companies try to resolve issues each blamed on previous management. The settlement also allows each company to move forward with plans in the state.
Tilt Holdings agreed to the settlement resolving concerns of the CCC, which cleared a path for the provisional licensure for the retail sale of adult-use and medical cannabis in Massachusetts. Tilt CEO Gary Santo said in a statement, “With today’s decision, TILT has fully resolved the dispute regarding certain agreements entered into by the original management team of TILT with other license applicants. In February, TILT terminated all remaining contractual relationships between the company and prospective applicants. At yesterday’s meeting of the CCC, the commissioners ratified a stipulated agreement resolving the related investigation pursuant to which TILT has agreed to make a $275,000 payment to the CCC Marijuana Regulation Fund.” TILT said it is now positioned to complete the licensing process and increase its retail footprint in Massachusetts with the opening of two additional dispensaries in Cambridge and Brockton following final inspection and approval by the Commission. Both facilities are fully built out.
“We worked diligently with the Cannabis Control Commission to resolve the investigation that has stalled our remaining state licenses for the past two years,” said Santo. “We appreciate the time, effort and professionalism afforded to TILT by the CCC staff and are thrilled to have come to an amicable resolution with the Commission. Since joining the TILT team, I have made it a point to reinforce our focus on building a culture of compliance and have taken steps to build out our compliance team across the organization, making key hires that reflect both depth of industry knowledge and integrity in processes. The conclusion of this investigation marks the turning of a page for TILT and we look forward to serving many new patients and customers in our communities later this year.”
The commission also fined Sira Naturals, which is owned by Ayr Strategies, $295,000 for allowing an unlicensed intra-company delivery vendor it had received permission to work with to deliver products between other cannabis firms. Ayr noted in a statement that the Commission addressed a settlement between Sira and the Commission, “related to wholesale transportation activities during the challenging reopening of the Massachusetts adult-use market in 2020 following the COVID-19 shutdown.” While no violation has been admitted, the company thanked the Commission for its efforts and dialogue over the intervening period and appreciates the important clarifications that the settlement provides.
Despite the fine and settlement, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission granted Ayr’s local partner Sira Naturals a provisional license for the sale of adult-use cannabis at its Boylston Street location in Boston. The provisional license allows for the continued development and construction of the dispensary and marks a significant milestone toward the opening of Ayr’s first adult-use store in the Greater Boston area.
The planned 4,500 ft² store is located next to the Apple Store and across from the Prudential Center, well-positioned for pedestrian traffic and easy access to the city’s public transit. The neighborhood is a popular residential community, as well as one of New England’s preeminent destinations for shopping and dining. Jonathan Sandelman, CEO of Ayr, said, “Despite being home to 60% of the state’s population, the Greater Boston Area has been underserved in access to adult-use cannabis. As cultivators of wellness and creators of wonder, we are excited to help change that and bring more of our high-quality cannabis offerings to the City of Boston.”