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DeLeo: State Should Take Second Look At Medical Marijuana Dispensary Process

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BOSTON (AP) — The state should take a second look at the medical marijuana dispensary licensing process because some of the information on the 20 applications approved last month was not thoroughly vetted and some applicants may have submitted false or misleading statements, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said.

The Winthrop Democrat said he’s heard complaints from lawmakers and from unsuccessful applicants about the process.

“I think at the very least we have to look at the places that they have chosen,” DeLeo said “I’m hearing now that a lot of the information on the applications was not verified and that’s, quite frankly, what I have a major problem with.”

Attorney General Martha Coakley echoed those concerns, also urging the state Department of Public Health to take a fresh look at the applications.

“It makes sense for DPH to take a look essentially from scratch because this is important that we do this right,” Coakley told reporters Thursday. “You have to do the background checks and vetting that seems to not have been done.”

The public health department, which oversaw the process, stressed that no final decisions have been made.

“No one has a license — provisional or otherwise — to operate a dispensary in Massachusetts,” department spokesman David Kibbe said. “We are in the middle of an intensive verification process with the 20 applicants who have moved into this next phase, and we have been clear that anyone found to have lied or misrepresented information in their application will not get a license.”

Media reports have pointed out various problems with some proposed dispensaries’ applications, including incomplete background checks, exaggerated resumes and misstatements about local support.

At least one unsuccessful applicant has filed a lawsuit challenging the process, a suit Kibbe called as frivolous.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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