EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 20, 2014

Probe into pot company's actions urged

Letter asks state to investigate medical marijuana proposal


Coco said he was acting in the capacity of a citizen and resident and not as a city official when he sent the letters to state officials.

“I am concerned about an inappropriate political process that may have been in play during the provisional licensing of a medical marijuana dispensary in Haverhill,” Coco stated in his letter.

Coco emphasized that he was neither challenging a particular location nor trying to hinder the creation of voter-approved medical marijuana dispensaries.

Yesterday, Coco said he was waiting for a response from Coakley’s office, as well as from the lobbyist division of the Secretary of State’s Office.

When contacted by The Eagle-Tribune, Coakley’s office confirmed the receipt of Coco’s letter, but indicated that as a matter of public policy, the office would neither confirm nor deny an investigation.

Jajuga is a registered lobbyist who is also a former top state police officer.

Valerio Romano, a lawyer for Healthy Pharms, said Jajuga has been advising the company on “the political landscape in Haverhill.”

“The citizens of Haverhill and ... Scatamacchia — through no fault of his own — are the victims of usual and customary local and State House politics,” Coco said.

“I’m pleased Councilor Scatamacchia has exposed to the light of day the kind of political shenanigans I have long fought,” Coco added. “Local senators — past and present — think political games and lack of transparency are acceptable and will be overlooked by voters.”

Healthy Pharms Inc. received a provisional license on Jan. 31 to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at 114 Hale St. The company stated in its 146-page application that it held meetings with four local officials to discuss the dispensary location and characterized the results of those meetings as generally supportive.

Coco noted in his letter that in Healthy Pharms’ application, the company refers to “support or non opposition” from some local officials who are now on record as denying what has been characterized as endorsements.

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