Phoenix-based TILT Holdings unexpectedly cut three cannabis brands from its portfolio last week in addition to pausing its partnership with the New York Shinnecock Nation, Debra Borchardt reports for Green Market Report.
The three brands include Black Buddha Cannabis, a multi-state social equity cannabis brand founded by Roz McCarthy, who is also the founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana Inc.; Her Highness, a woman-owned and female-centric New York brand; and Highsman, a cannabis lifestyle brand founded by former pro football player Ricky Williams, the report said.
TILT Holdings’ interim CEO Tim Conder said in an earnings call that the move was part of “evaluating and rationalizing our brand and product portfolio” as TILT aims to “refine” its strategy.
“In doing so, we came to the hard realization that Her Highness, Highsman, and Black Buddha are not the right long-term fit given the direction we are headed, and we really are not the right partner for them given the support they need to build their brands. We are working collaboratively with these brands’ respective teams through this transition to ensure that we support them the best way we can as they offboard from our platform.” — Conder, via Green Market Report
McCarthy said she was surprised by the sudden shift because Black Buddha’s partnership with TILT was formed just last year. Additionally, McCarthy said the announcement came during a capital raise for the company and that the news had driven away at least one potential investor.
“You got rid of the woman-owned, the black-owned, and then the woman- and black-owned brand,” she told Green Market Report. “How do I take that? I never want to hear from Tilt that they are focused on social equity.”
TILT also announced it was putting on hold its partnership with the New York Shinnecock Nation due to “challenges,” including “unlicensed operators selling cannabis on Shinnecock land and the inability to bring in cannabis products from New York state license holders or sell cannabis products to New York state license holders.” Conder said the company would evaluate the partnership but, for now, “construction has been put on hold.”
But the Shinnecock Nation told Green Market Report following the announcement that the dispensary project would “move forward” despite TILT’s disengagement.
“Much like New York state, we as a tribal nation are addressing the unlicensed operators and have made significant progress regarding illegal sales and delivery,” the Council of Trustees, Shinnecock Nation Tribe, said in a statement. “This matter has not caused Shinnecock to delay our development to have the first tribally owned legal adult-use dispensary on our sovereign land in Eastern Long Island.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to all three brands dropped by TILT as “social equity” brands, implying that all were participants in state social equity programs. We regret the error and thank Black Cannabis Magazine for bringing it to our attention.
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