After a string of embarrassing revelations about proposed medical marijuana dispensaries, Massachusetts state regulators have vowed to be more thorough with the background checks scrutinize all applications more carefully during the verification phase of the approval process after the Boston Globe reported the state knowingly granted two provisional licenses to a company whose director had falsified his resume.
According to the Boston Globe, “A security firm conducted more than a hundred additional background checks and investigative interviews. And the state weeded out nearly half the 20 finalists, including several for misrepresenting their meetings with local officials.”
“If somebody lied on their application, they are not going to get a license,” Governor Deval Patrick has told an interviewer for WGBH radio interview last February.
However, it appears that this is not the case. In fact, it appears that the state officials took no action about what appears to be outright fraud.
According to the Boston Globe:
“Kevin Fisher, executive director of New England Treatment Access Inc. and the owner of a marijuana business in Colorado, claimed he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Youngstown State University, but the school says it has no record of his receiving any degree.
When Fisher applied for a license in Colorado, he told regulators he did not graduate from Youngstown.
The state’s screening company detected the missing degree in April, but the state let the company go forward with plans to open dispensaries in Northampton and Brookline anyway.”
Medical marijuana and decriminalization are predicted to be big business, and it sounds like there’s plenty of room for shady business deals and deception. It’s a shame to imagine that regulators in Massachusetts have given up on keeping legalized marijuana above-the-board and honest. From the looks of it, they’re letting Fisher stay in business because he’s experienced in selling legalized pot from his business ventures in Colorado. It’s not clear why he felt the need to lie about his education on top of that experience.
To Fisher’s credit, he continues to claim ignorance of his non-existent degree, even going so far as to claim, “I believe I have a degree.” and listing an interesting set of excuses as to why nobody has been able to track his credentials down (including himself).
In fact, “The only documentation Fisher produced was a diploma case he said he received from Youngstown State, containing a slip of paper that said, ‘Congratulations on your graduation from Youngstown State University.’ However, there is no diploma in the case. Instead, it contained general information on where students could pick up their diplomas. It did not name any particular student.”
Fisher owns Rocky Mountain Remedies, a business in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, that has sold medical marijuana for five years and recreational marijuana to adults since January.
Unless Fisher’s trying to peddle the idea that he’s got a major case of short-term memory loss from sampling his own product, it’s unclear how he can claim he has a degree he has never personally picked up or laid eyes on. He suggested to reporters that maybe his degree disappeared because he owed Youngstown College nearly $3,600 dating back to the fall of 1998, and “He said he figures that his estranged father stopped paying for school when his mother became ill around that time.”
So essentially, Fisher’s saying he’s a legal drug dealer who’s still upset with his parents for not paying off his bad debt from school, and he cared so little that he never 1. paid the debt or 2. tried to get his credentials certified?
Sounds pretty much like a run-of-the-mill Ron Paul libertarian to me.
Let’s hope the state regulators keep an eye on his business practices and receipts.