Ayr Wellness wants to be “Target” of weed

By Alex Halperin
Aug 5, 2021

The very acquisitive MSO Ayr Wellness (pronounced: air) is one of the hottest pot stocks on Wall Street as it aggressively moves into new markets.

Cannabis Business Executive has a good interview with Ayr CEO Jon Sandleman, a former president of Bank of America’s security business, on his plan to build Ayr into the Target of weed: “The best quality product consistently and affordably. Affordable luxury.”

A few choice nugs: 

  • “At some point [big] beverage, tobacco, and alcohol are all going to be forced in. Why do I say forced in? Because while most CEOs still think [cannabis is] drugs … a beer guy is not going to be so comfortable because in his mind it’s still drugs. So, why will he be forced in, and we’ve seen this repeatedly – when beer got forced into buying up all the craft beers because they were eating their lunch.”
  • “There will be boutique people, and businesses that produce beautiful products, but we feel our competitive edge, the thing that differentiates our brand, is that we want to do it at scale, and we want to do it consistently. And so, the retail experience is so important to us, and delivering the best quality products consistently in our stores is our strategy going forward.”
  • When the business world gets more comfortable with cannabis, Sandleman believes Ayr’s deep bench of corporate talent will be an advantage. “Who are they likely to want to do business with? The people with maximum control, excellent operational skills, and the right culture that mirrors their culture.”
  • “One of the things I loved about this [business] is that as an investor this industry has the broadest diversity of consumers I have ever seen other than with one other product; sugar. Kids like sugar, moms like sugar, middle aged guys like me like sugar, old people, everyone loves sugar in some form or another.

Read the whole thing.