Regulators in Massachusetts are investigating whether large licensed cannabis companies are thwarting state rules on the number of licenses that can be controlled by a single firm, the Boston Globe reports. The inquiry comes following the newspaper’s report that two companies – Sea Hunter Therapeutics and Acreage Holdings – have bragged to investors about holding a large number of licenses.
Under the state’s legalization law, firms are only allowed to own or control up to three medical cannabis and three recreational cannabis licenses.
The Globe had requested Cannabis Control Commission records relating to allegations about companies flouting the rules, which were ultimately denied by the commission who cited an ongoing investigation, according to the report. The Globe has, however, received a Department of Public Health memo dated last August that indicated the agency was aware of potential licensing problems with the two companies, including “using loopholes” hide their affiliations and creating shell companies.
The Globe report alleges that the companies accumulated provincial medical licenses through complex networks of different companies – some they owned outright, others they wield power over via high-interest loans and management contracts. Sea Hunter is reportedly affiliated with 12 stores throughout the state, while Acreage is linked to at least four.
Alex Coleman, chief executive of Tilt Holdings, Sea Hunter’s parent company, told the Globe they have “no knowledge of a DPH or CCC review.”
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