There are 228 adult use retailers in Massachusetts, with six coming online to the Cannabis Control Commission’s adult use database this week. Grown In gathered data from the commission’s Adult Use license tracker and cleaned the names so they would be easier to group together and see who has reached the license limit for ownership. 

SIRA Naturals, Inc. does business as AYR Wellness at two locations. Both of the stores, one in Boston and the other in Dracut, were retailers added to the Cannabis Control Commission’s adult use license tracker database this week. 

Massachusetts regulations set limits on the number of licenses a person or entity can hold. No medical treatment center, cultivator, product manufacturer, retailer, transporter, or independent testing laboratory can have more than three licenses in each category. Those restrictions are set in state statute.

Other retailers that came online this week are: KCCS, LLC, which does business as Cannabis Culture in Northampton; BKPN, LLC, which does business as Nova Farms in Dracut; Mayflower Medicinals, Inc which does business as Be in Boston; Cosmopolitan Dispensary, Inc in Fall River.

Of the six businesses that came online recently, one was classified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and another was a Medical Treatment Center. The DBE business is KCCS, LLC, which does business as Cannabis Culture. The owners of the company are Kenisha Allum, Charles Crapps, Thomas Little, and Jason Snodgrass, according to their executive summary. 

Finding out who owns what can be a bit tricky. 

Ethos Cannabis’ name is listed as both NS AJO Holdings, Inc. and Lynn Organics, LLC. There are three businesses that operate as Ethos Cannabis. Trulieve’s name is Life Essence, Inc. 

Nova Farms has two names as well: BKPN, LLC and Nova Farms LLC.

Aspen Blue Cultures, Inc. and Nature’s Alternative, Inc. do business as Terps. Pharmacannis Massachusetts does business as Verilife at two locations, in Wareham and Shrewsbury. Four Daughters Compassionate Care, Inc. does business as Zen Leaf in two locations, Plymouth and Sharon.

There are 14 companies that have reached the license ownership cap of three retail licenses: Alternative Therapies Group; Bud’s Goods and Provisions Corp.; Cultivate Holdings; Curaleaf Massachusetts, Inc.; Garden Remedies; GreenStar Herbals, Inc.; I.N.S.A.; Life Essence, Inc. which does business as Trulieve; Mayflower Medicinals, Inc.; Nature’s Medicines, Inc.; New England Treatment Access; Nova Farms; Patriot Care Corp.; Temescal Wellness. 

There are 11 cities with at least five adult use retailers. Worcester has a dozen; Northampton has 11; Boston has 8; Brockton has 7; Dracut, Easthampton, Framingham, Great Barrington, Lynn, Pittsfield, and Provincetown each have five. 

In the medical program, there are 95 active medical marijuana treatment center dispensaries listed in the state database. 

Adam Fine, a partner at law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP, told Grown In that 95 medical retailers is a good ratio. 

“It's not bad. Obviously, you always like to have more medical. You’d like to see more co-locate and actually have both licenses, but for obvious reasons, the adult use market is considered to be more profitable and there are less barriers to entry on the sales side,” Fine said. “The biggest problem right now with medical is that it's still vertically integrated… The cost to open a medical marijuana treatment center is much more expensive. So the initial back the initial entry into that marketplace is really difficult.”

If someone wants to open an adult use retail location, they might need $500,000. “For medical, you're going to take that cost and five times it to get it open. Maybe 10 times the cost.”

Fine said the reason why so many companies in the adult use program have reached the license cap of three, and so few on the medical side have, is both cost and the sales.

“Adult use sales just have a bigger marketplace. You're not just talking about patients that have certifications from doctors, you're talking about anybody 21 plus,” he said. “Typically what we'll see now in the Commonwealth is people starting in the adult use realm and then they start to have people come in – patients that will come in sometimes – and say ‘Hey, it would really be great if you have medical here,’ and eventually they kind of realize that there's a marketplace for medical and you'll see some open for medical because for patients, it's much cheaper option; they don't pay the taxes, and that's the key.”

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Cynthia Fernandez is a data reporter for Grown In. Previously, she was a politics reporter for Spotlight PA, a nonpartisan newsroom based in Harrisburg and reported at the Boston Globe. In 2019 she graduated...