On the hunt for Runtz in Beantown? Look no further. Ayr Wellness, leading vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operator, has announced its new partnership with flower brand, Lost in Translation (LIT for short) to bring the finest of West Coast genetics to the Massachusetts market via legacy seed breeders and pheno-hunters, Tahoe Hydroponics. Acquired by Ayr Wellness in June 2021, the six-time Jack Herer Cup winners boast famous cultivars such as Sundae Driver and Gelato 45, with Tahoe Hydro co-founder and CEO Ray Schiavone at the helm of the new Massachusetts cultivation facility.
The indoor operation, according to Schiavone, “is grown [with] the highest level of … hydroponic equipment, Athena nutrients and the latest and greatest lighting.” Running new, unreleased strains like Red Velvet Runtz, Miami Vice and Watermelon Sugar alongside tried and true flagships like The Soap—an Animal Mints cross—he continues, “Our model has always been to innovate with unique terpene profiles and fill specific consumer demands and trends within our menus.”
Bubble Bath / Courtesy of LIT
The Price is Right
Eighths and quarters of the midrange-priced flower are currently available in select strains at their two newly-opened greater Boston Ayr Wellness Dispensary locations in Back Bay (for adult use and medical) and Watertown (adult use only), as well as wholesale. When asked about their lower-than-normal price point for typical indoor-grown products, Schiavone says, “Massachusetts consumers are now going to have access to these new high-quality options at a price better than the competition.”
Multi-state operators (MSOs) are historically good at providing decent, if not quality products at reasonable prices—the typical result of master planning and proper financial backing. Holding some level of care for the plant, the environment, and the people taking care of the plant normally takes a backseat, but as founder, chairman, and CEO of Ayr, Jonathan Sandelman says, “LIT flower is a testament to our commitment to taking the best ingredients – facilities, people, genetics – and cultivating excellent cannabis at scale throughout our organization.”
When asked why he felt so strongly about working with an MSO like Ayr, Schiavone explains that “I really respect and appreciate Ayr’s commitment to quality and willingness to incorporate our management and methodologies into their platform.”
Temptation / Courtesy of LIT
Flower to The People
Ayr and LITs commitment to their customers and team is evident in conversation with Schiavone, who says their strain selections are based on consumer demand and feedback. He also mentions how much he looks forward to working with Massachusettsans and gushes, “I have personally spent a lot of time not only meeting Ayr’s retail team but visiting many other operators such as Nova Farms, Caroline’s and North East Alternatives. Everywhere we have [gone] we have had a warm welcome and everyone is excited to experience a West Coast flower brand. Not only does everyone enjoy great flower, it’s humbling to see how many people enjoy wearing our hats and clothing that haven’t even tried our flower yet. It truly is amazing to see.”
He continues, “I think with any brand you have to treat [it] … like your own child. I take tremendous pride in making sure that everything from the clothing, flower and derivatives are all of the highest quality with the intent of having a lasting relationship with whoever it comes in contact with.”
The future’s looking bright for the brand family, as they make plans to expand, which includes a pheno-hunting passion project from Schiavone. What does he hope to bring to Massachusetts besides decades of cultivation experience and a smile? The master grower says that the East Coast needs some good purps. “I think something the Massachusetts market needs is a high quality purple flower with lemon terpenes, which is something I’ve been working on in R&D for years, so I’ll be excited to introduce that to the market eventually.”
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