The first attempt to certify companies that applied to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts ran onto some problems when it was discovered that some applications contained erroneous information and others noted board and executive level participation from people with previous criminal convictions.
Over 100 companies bid on the 35 licenses offered when Massachusetts passed its medical marijuana law over a year ago. Initially 20 licenses were granted with nine of them now rescinded. Three of the 20 licenses granted were awarded to companies connected to former state legislator William Delahunt, raising some serious concerns about cronyism.
Preliminary certifications have been rescinded by state authorities as these discrepancies have come to light, currently leaving the City of Boston proper without a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. The two companies that had been granted certificates in Boston, Green Heart Holistic Health & Pharmaceuticals and Good Chemistry of Massachusetts, saw these decisions reversed.
Good Chemistry was one of the more interesting applicants, with proposals submitted to three different counties in the Commonwealth. The company is actually a subsidiary of a Colorado based company, led by Jaime Lewis. Ms. Lewis is on the roster of the National Cannabis Industry Association as an Educational Series Speaker. The NCIA's mission statement includes:
• NCIA publicly advocates for the unique needs of the emerging cannabis industry and defends against threats to the legal market for cannabis and cannabis-related products.
• NCIA is the nation’s only industry-led organization engaging in legislative efforts to expand and further legitimize the legal cannabis market in the U.S
Jaime Lewis, based in Denver, Colorado is described in her NCIA bio summary as "the Chief Operating Officer of Good Chemistry where she is responsible for operations and business development of this leading medical marijuana provider in Colorado, renowned for its community engagement and philanthropic efforts. She is also the owner of Mountain Medicine, an award-winning medical marijuana infused products manufacturer in Denver focusing on providing high quality medical marijuana edibles and infused products."
In Salem, however, only 15 miles north of the city, Alternative Therapies passed the application process with flying colors and is moving forward with its plans to open early next year. Company plans also call for a sophisticated growing facility in Amesbury.
Alternative Therapies is a privately held company based in Newburyport and was founded in 2012.
Christopher Edwards is listed in the application as CEO/Executive Director. He has served as Founder and CEO of three Massachusetts-based technology startup companies, as well as Chief Technology Officer of a fourth. He is currently the CEO of Blackfin Media, Inc -which specializes in custom website and web application development.
With the prospect of no open clinics in Boston and one nearby on Salem, it is possible that the Witch City clinic will enjoy greatly increased business as city dwellers head up the highway for their medical cannabis.
The Girl Scout who sold 117 boxes in two hours when she set up a table outside a medical marijuana clinic in San Francisco may want to franchise her operation and set up a similar table in Salem.