Cannabis Business Moving Faster Than Regulation, Fine Results

BOSTON – Leading U.S.-based cannabis company Curaleaf Inc. was fined $250,000 by Massachusetts regulatory officials for change of ownership without approval of the state, which violates Massachusetts’ cannabis industry regulations.

The issue at question came during negotiations between Curaleaf and the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, when officials were informed of a pending merger between the company and cannabis company Alternatives Therapies Group (ATG) located in Salem, Massachusetts.


Though state officials cited that the form needed to submit a request for approval of change of ownership was not yet available, Curaleaf’s merger with ATG would result in a fine. Curaleaf moved forward with the merger and accepted the fine, despite being unable to submit a formal application. Officials acknowledged in an agreement released on August 9 that Curaleaf had operated in good faith after negotiating with officials, and granted change of ownership.

“Curaleaf thanks the Commission and the Commission staff for working collaboratively towards this result. Curaleaf has been proudly serving the Massachusetts medical community and looks forward to working with the Commission to secure approval of its adult-use licenses,” a press release said.

The developments follow Curaleaf’s mid-July $875 million acquisition of Illinois-based Grassroots, which reportedly makes it the largest in the U.S. By acquiring Grassroots, Curaleaf expands its operations to nineteen states, including sixty-eight dispensaries, twenty-six processing facilities, twenty cultivation facilities, as well as more than 100 dispensary licenses. So far in 2019, Curaleaf also has acquired cannabis businesses in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Ohio.

In 2018, Curaleaf Inc. went from nonprofit status to a for-profit company. Parent company Curaleaf Holdings also merged with a Canadian company that year, in order to gain access to the Canadian Stock Exchange.

Besides their flagship brand, product lines include Curaleaf Hemp, and UKU Craft Cannabis.