EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

February 20, 2014

Probe into pot company's actions urged

Letter asks state to investigate medical marijuana proposal

HAVERHILL — Former state senator James Jajuga says he worked as an adviser and consultant for a company that is looking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Haverhill.

Jajuga, a registered lobbyist who has earned thousands of dollars over the last few years working for various groups, may have blurred the lines between his two roles, according to one city official.

License Commission member Tim Coco, a former candidate for state Senate, said Jajuga appeared to have been acting as a lobbyist when he carried a letter into City Hall last fall asking for support of Healthy Pharms company’s application to the state to open a marijuana dispensary in Haverhill.

Coco has asked the state Attorney General’s Office to look into the letter, which was signed by City Councilor Robert Scatamacchia’s in support of Healthy Pharms company’s proposed medical marijuana dispensary, and also to look into possible lies in the company’s application to the state.

Jajuga, a Methuen city councilor and former head of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, is at the center of a debate involving a letter that Scatamacchia signed in November on behalf of Healthy Pharms. Scatamacchia was president of the City Council at the time he signed the letter.

Jajuga, who said he worked for the proposed dispensary operator Healthy Pharms Inc. as a paid consultant and adviser, but not a lobbyist, initially asked Mayor James Fiorentini to sign the letter, but the mayor refused. Instead, the mayor had his aide David Van Dam call Scatamacchia and ask him to come to the mayor’s office to sign the letter, which Scatamacchia agreed to do.

In a letter to Attorney General Martha Coakley dated Feb. 11, Coco asked the Attorney General’s Office to look into whether Healthy Pharms “lacked candor” or engaged in misrepresentations in its filing with the Department of Public Health. Coco also asked Coakley and Secretary of State William Galvin to make a determination as to whether paid lobbying activities on behalf of Healthy Pharms by Jajuga were properly disclosed.

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