Mass. Dispensary Granted License Despite Lies?

During a recent investigation process in which the state of Massachusetts conducted extensive background checks on parties filing for licenses to operate medical marijuana dispensaries, the state weeded out nearly half of the applicants after they discovered many of them had provided false information.

Governor Deval Patrick said in a radio interview earlier this year that anyone who lied on his or her application would be disqualified from operating a dispensary. Yet, this has not stopped the state from granting a provisionary license to a dispensary hopeful who falsified his application by stating that he was a college graduate.

The Boston Globe recently published an expose on entrepreneur Kevin Fisher, who received preliminary approval from the state of Massachusetts to operate New England Treatment Access, Inc. despite attempting to bamboozle state officials with claims that he had obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Youngstown State University.

Although the state was not able to confirm that Fisher indeed possessed this degree, they moved forward and approved his proposal to open two dispensaries anyway, which has caused lawmakers and dispensary licensees to have some hard feelings.

Fisher has since come forward with a conflicting backstory in regards to why his college transcripts are not available. He says that at the time he filed the application he was under the impression that he did have a bachelor’s degree, but in the process of requesting his transcripts for a state contractor, he learned of an unpaid balance that was causing the school to essentially hold his degree hostage.

Fisher is adamant that this technicality does not mean he provided the state with false information. “I believe I have a degree,” he said. “I understand the facts of the matter, but I think one could reasonably understand my assumption [that I graduated].”

However, while these types of oversights are possible, Fisher has been inconsistent with his claims. Although he told a Massachusetts security firm that he was, in fact, a graduate from Youngstown, he offered the Colorado Department of Revenue a different response four years ago when he filed for a license to operate a dispensary there — telling officials that he had not graduated.

A spokesperson for Youngstown State University told the Globe that an unpaid balance would not prevent a student from receiving a degree. Interestingly, since the Globe’s report was published earlier this week, the state has put a hold on Fisher’s license.

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