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Medical Marijuana

3 locals make final phase for medical marijuana licenses

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Three local residents are among the 100 finalists statewide for licenses to run a medical marijuana dispensary.

J.M. Farm’s Patient Group Inc., with James Pasiecnik of Whately, A New Leaf, co-directed by Joshua and Marina Goldman of Montague and MR Absolute Medical Resources Inc., directed by Michael Ruggeri of Greenfield all entered Phase 2, the final phase of the application process.

On Friday, the state released the list of applicants who were approved to move on to the final phase of the application process, which the state expects to be completed by early 2014. The state is allowed to register up to 35 nonprofit marijuana dispensaries across the state, with at least one but no more than five dispensaries per county.

A selection committee will score applications on appropriateness of site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients while ensuring public safety.

As part of Phase 2, applicants were asked to demonstrate local support during the review process and must show that they can comply with all municipal rules, regulations, ordinances and bylaws. They also were required to have $500,000 in the bank to back their application.

While M.R. Absolute Medical Resources has listed Greenfield as its home, Ruggeri said he received letters of support from Greenfield Mayor William Martin, the Orange Board of Selectmen and Montague Board of Selectmen.

“I’m very encouraged by the government and town officials I met and the compassion they showed. They know their citizens wanted this and the number of people who do have debilitating illnesses,” Ruggeri said.

Ruggeri, a long-time Greenfield business man, said he has lined up potential locations in all three towns. The state, Ruggeri believes, will choose applications based on their locations and public access. To increase his chances, he sought out areas across Franklin County he thought would be most accessible.

On Ruggeri’s team are his son Joseph Ruggeri, of Ruggeri Real Estate in Greenfield and a local farm and pharmacist, who Ruggeri declined to name.

J.M. Farm’s Patient Group has listed South Deerfield as its proposed dispensary site. The group has put a $35,000 nonrefundable deposit on a 15,000-square-foot space at 10 Greenfield Road.

This week, Pasiecnik and his partners, Nicholas Spagnola of Revere and Joshua Sodaitis, asked the Deerfield Board of Selectmen for a letter of support. Instead, the board provided a general letter of support to a dispensary and did not name a particular group.

J.M. Farm’s Patient Group and A New Leaf both picked up copies of the letter Thursday morning when the applications were due to Boston.

A New Leaf did meet with the Deerfield selectmen this week as well, but the group did not arrive at the Town Office until after 11 p.m. at Wednesday’s seven-hour meeting.

A New Leaf has listed Montague as its dispensary site. Goldman did not return calls for comment.

J.M. Farm’s Patient Group has a state-licensed physician as the chief medical director on board and a former Shelburne police chief, Mark DeJackome, who would serve as chief of security. Theresa Creedon is listed as the CEO, while Pasiecnik will serve as president and director of cultivation.

The group has also teamed up with DenverRelief Consulting, a national leader in the medical marijuana business. DenverRelief would help with cultivation.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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