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Medical Marijuana

Local pot applicant among those who may get second look

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A lawmaker reviewing the state’s medical marijuana licensing wants the Department of Public Health to reconsider some of the high-scoring groups that did not get licenses, which could renew possibilities for a Deerfield-based applicant.

State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain has requested the health department review any company that scored at least 137 out of 163 possible points.

Local applicant J.M. Farm’s Patient Group Inc. scored 141 for its proposal to put a dispensary and cultivation facility at 10 Greenfield Road.

In January, the state awarded 20 provisional licenses. It did not award licenses for Franklin County, but instead invited six groups that were not granted their proposed location to seek a change of location to a county that didn’t get a dispensary.

The three homegrown applicants — J.M. Farm’s, A New Leaf led by Joshua and Maria Goldman of Montague and M.R. Absolute Medical Resources led by Michael Ruggeri of Greenfield — were rejected.

Since that time, statewide news outlets and state legislators have found fault with some of the applications that were awarded licenses.

J.M. Farm’s welcomed the news Friday.

“We support the recommendation to award provisional licenses to all those applications that have both provided information as requested to the Department of Public Health and received acceptable scores on the applications as identified by the Department of Public Health,” said Theresa Creeden, the CEO and president of J.M. Farm’s in a statement.

Creeden is an experienced nonprofit leader and certified public accountant from Sandberg and Creeden P.C. of Stoughton.

J.M. Farm’s had the same score as Patriot Care Corp., one of the six groups who did not receive a license but were invited to seek a change in location and is now courting Greenfield. J.M. Farm’s also scored higher than some of the 20 groups that did receive provisional licenses from the state in January.

There have been some changes on the board of J.M. Farm’s, most notably the departure of its namesake, James M. Pasiecnik, a Whately potato farmer who resigned from the board and his position as cultivation manager.

Pasiecnik’s resignation came after he was charged with assault and battery and witness intimidation in November after an alleged altercation between him and a Greenfield man on River Road outside his farm. The case is still pending in Greenfield District Court. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 25.

Creeden was brought on the team for her experience in leading nonprofit organizations.

An updated corporation filing lists Creeden as president and director, Michael Bennett of Boston as treasurer, Nicholas Spagnola of Revere as vice president and director, Janet Wojciechowski of Northampton as clerk and director, Mary Bovino of Deerfield as director and Amy Connors as director.

J.M. Farm’s also changed its principal office from Pasiecnik’s address at 207 River Road in Whately to 331 Page St. Stoughton, the location of Sandberg and Creeden P.C.

A nationally known Colorado-based firm, DenverRelief Consulting, would advise on cultivation if J.M. Farm’s does get a license.

J.M. Farm’s has been working with Denver Relief for some time. In November, Kayvan Khalatbari, owner of DenverRelief Consulting, had visited Deerfield selectmen to help persuade the town to give a letter of support to J.M. Farm’s.

Khalatbari raised some red flags about the state’s process this week when he told The Boston Globe that an applicant, Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, led by former U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt, had asked Khalatbari to help his company grow the marijuana plant. Delahunt’s company received three preliminary licenses, but it appears its chief of cultivation has little experience in growing marijuana. Khalatbari assisted seven nonprofits seeking licenses in Massachusetts. None of the applicants were chosen.

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

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