Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary on Centre Street Discussed Wednesday

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A public meeting led by a company looking to operate a medical marijuana dispensary on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain was scheduled for this week.

The Massachusetts Patient Foundation has invited "future neighbors" to a discussion Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at 561 Centre St., the site of the proposed dispensary. The site was previously a gas station and is located at the corner of Lakeville Road and Centre Street.

A flyer distributed to neighbors by the foundation says the company is "currently moving through the Department of Public Health licensing process and want[s] to work with the people of Jamaica Plain to locate a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD)... We pledge to work closely and transparently with neighbors, residents, business owners and interested stakeholders during the process."

The Massachusetts Patient Foundation has a documented history of attempting to open a dispensary in the Commonwealth, but it does not appear it has yet successfully opened a dispensary.

A document shows that the company applied to operate a medical marijuana dispensary as early as June 2015. A December 2016 document from the Health and Human Services Department's Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality to Daniel Karten, CEO of Massachusetts Patient Foundation, informs Karten that the department had not yet received verification from the mayor of Holyoke in support of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary. The company also tried to open dispensaries in Lynn and in Norwood.

The flyer distributed to JP residents lists the team of the Massachusetts Patient Foundation, who will be in attendance at tonight's meeting. The flyer says the team has "successful professionals from various industries including specialty retail, cultivation, manufacturing, medical sales, medicine, legal, distribution and more."

The team includes: Rachmil "Roma" Lekach, executive director and chairman of the board of directors; Michael "Mikey" Thompson, chief agricultural office; Daniel Karten, chief operating officer; Rabbi Moshe Bleich, member of the board of directors; A. Mark Young, chief financial officer and member of the board of directors; Joseph Lekach, advisor; and Corey Cutler, member of the board of directors.

"We are committed to the safety of patients and the community," reads the flyer. "The Massachusetts Patient Foundation team is passionate about helping patients who are suffering from debilitating conditions and diseases."