EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 14, 2014

City attorney: Don't meet company leader

(Continued)

Haverhill cannot stop a medical marijuana dispensary from opening in the city, but officials can adopt zoning to limit where one would be allowed.

The city has a temporary ban on the dispensaries until Nov. 18, while officials decides the best place for one.

Several controversies and problems have arisen regarding Healthy Pharms since the state granted the organization one of 20 provisional permits to open a dispensary in Massachusetts.

First, City Councilor Robert Scatamacchia said he was tricked into signing a letter on behalf of the organization that it used to win the license.

Then several city and regional officials said statements attributed to them in Healthy Pharms’ dispensary application were false. A few weeks later, the council disavowed Scatamacchia’s letter and asked the Attorney General’ Office and the state Public Health Department to investigate the organization’s tactics and the alleged misstatements and misrepresentations in its dispensary application.

Mayor James Fiorentini has also said his committee that recommended the Hale Street industrial area as the best place in the city for a dispensary was having second thoughts about that location. Healthy Pharms has an option to buy an old furniture building at 114 Hale St. and has made extensive plans to convert the building into a dispensary.

Healthy Pharms is being advised by Diana and John Czarkowski, a husband-and-wife team that was forced in 2012 to close its Colorado marijuana dispensary because of violations that included improper storage of marijuana, growing more plants than allowed under its state license and improperly maintaining records.

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