Big Weed Arrives as Canadians Buy Two Massachusetts Companies

Written by: Johnathan Ng – Boston Herald

Two Canadian firms are moving into the Massachusetts weed business, with deals to acquire two local medicinal marijuana companies that already have been approved for recreational pot licensing.

Milford-based Sira Naturals announced it will be acquired by Toronto-based Cannabis Strategies Acquisition Corp. Patriot Care, with locations in Boston and Lowell. Columbia Care, parent company of Patriot Care, with locations in Boston and Lowell, said in a statement it will be doing a deal with Canaccord Genuity Growth Corp, another Toronto firm.

Steven Hoffman, the chairman of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission said yesterday that he was aware of the deals but he noted, “If somebody has a change of ownership, they have to notify us and we have to approve that change or they can lose their license.”

The Canadian purchases of U.S.-based firms follows Canada’s nationwide decriminalization of marijuana. With pot still illegal on the federal level in the U.S., Canadian firms will have an advantage in attracting investors, said Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor whose class “Representing marijuana clients” covers the legal and practical realities of the pot business. But Kamin added, “I’m frankly surprised to hear about Canadians purchasing these U.S. companies, where the risks are lower there.”

Attorney Jim Smith, who represents pot firms in Massachusetts, said more mainstream investors are likely to be wary of the pot business. 

“You won’t find Goldman Sachs investing in cannabis any time soon,” he said. 

But he said  the Canadian pot corporations see an opportunity in acquiring local marijuana businesses that have already dealt with regulatory issues.

— jonathan.ng@bostonherald.com