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STONEHAM — Massachusetts-based cannabis company Theory Wellness is transitioning its ownership entirely over to its employees, in what is known as an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). By doing so, Theory has become the first employee-owned cannabis company in the Commonwealth and the largest of its kind in the country.

Established in 2015 by co-founders Brandon Pollock and Nick Friedman, Theory Wellness has grown to include four dispensaries, production and cultivation facilities, and more than 200 employees, and has served more than 3 million customers since its inception.

“Our team is the heart and soul of our company,” said Pollock, Theory’s CEO. “Now we have the opportunity to honor their dedication by handing 100% of the company over to them.”

Pollock and Friedman have been business partners since they met at Colby College in 2006.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Nick, Theory’s chief strategy officer said of the ESOP. “We are proud of our employees; they deserve to own what they have worked so hard to create.”

This change in ownership is not expected to disrupt the company’s day-to-day operations, Brandon emphasized. “We expect a seamless transition. Neither our brand nor our management is changing. We are simply transitioning ownership over to our team.”