Bud’s to repay $33k in taken tips

The town’s first retail cannabis shop has agreed to repay more than $33,000 in tips that it improperly kept from employees at its Abington and Worcester locations.

Bud’s Goods & Provisions and its CEO, Alex Mazin, were cited by the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for breaking a state law that prohibits employers from taking any portion of tips given to retail staff.

A whistle-blower in the chain’s Abington store said management would collect cash tips that were kept in a locked box behind the counter. The money was used to buy food for employees or converted into store credit that employees could use to buy cannabis products, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Bud’s agreed to settle the violation by repaying between $20 and $1,500 to about 65 employees who worked for the two stores between March and December 2021.

Mazin did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite the highly regulated nature of the growing cannabis industry, the wage law violation likely won’t result in any additional sanctions against Bud’s at the state or local level.

A spokesperson for the Cannabis Control Commission said there are no plans to review Bud’s permits.

“The Commission is grateful to Attorney General [Maura] Healey and her team for their due diligence in investigating Marijuana Establishment Agent concerns,” the spokesperson said.

Abington Town Manager Scott Lambiase said the town’s Host Community Agreement with does not contain any language that would result in a followup hearing.

Last year, Bud’s Goods and Provisions was named New England’s best cannabis business at the recent New England Cannabis Convention. The business opened its third store earlier this year in Watertown.

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