Amid controversy, Fisher resigns from Massachusetts marijuana nonprofit

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Kevin Fisher

— Amid controversy, a Steamboat Springs marijuana businessman has resigned from the leadership role he held with a Massachusetts company trying to open two medical marijuana dispensaries in the Boston area.

"You live and you learn," Kevin Fisher said Thursday.

Fisher co-owns Rocky Mountain Remedies in Steamboat, and for the past 18 months, he has been working to help open dispensaries in the Boston area. Up until his resignation, he was the executive director of New England Treatment Access Inc., a nonprofit that, after a competitive process, was awarded two of the 11 provisional dispensary licenses issued by Massachusetts in June.

Controversy erupted last week when the Boston Globe reported Fisher lied about graduating from college on his resume. The resume was included as part of the nonprofit's application for a license to open dispensaries in Brookline and Northampton.

“I’ve said before: If you lie on the application, that is, from my perspective, a nonstarter,” Gov. Deval Patrick told the Boston Globe last week.

Subsequently, the state of Massachusetts put the nonprofit’s licenses on hold, and more than 100 residents in the Brookline community were calling for the company's provisional license to be pulled, the Globe reported Thursday.

Fisher was in Steamboat on Thursday and said he truly thought he graduated from Youngstown State University, but his transcripts ultimately showed he did not earn a degree.

He said he would not have had any motivation to misstate his education on his resume because that was not scored by state officials when they were deciding what companies would receive the 11 provisional licenses.

Fisher said the resume discrepancy was discovered in April by a contractor hired by the state to do background checks. Fisher said he then asked the state to amend his resume so it showed he only attended the university.

"We didn't think it was a huge deal at the time," Fisher said.

Fisher said he hoped the situation in Boston would not reflect poorly on him or his company in Steamboat.

"If I have to answer some questions in the grocery store, I'll answer some questions in the grocery store," Fisher said.

In getting the business going in Boston, Fisher said this year alone he took 60 flights and logged 3,000 hours of work. Fisher said he had not been reimbursed for his work.

"We have some other things brewing, but honestly, if Massachusetts doesn't work out, I'm looking forward to a long staycation," Fisher said.

An agreed-upon service contract could have benefited Fisher financially once the dispensaries got off the ground.

The Globe reported that once debts were paid, the service contract called for New England Treatment Access to give 18 percent of annual gross revenues to a company co-owned by Fisher for "management services, and for the use of proprietary techniques for growing highly sought strains of marijuana."

"There is no guarantee that we would have made a penny," Fisher said.

Fisher said that as of Thursday, the service contact still was in place.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Comments

scott bideau 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I knew I graduated when they handed me the diploma now framed and hanging on my wall.

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Scott Wedel 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Yeah and that part that reads "Highest Honors" is pretty cool. Can't remember if they put that there or if I did. :)

Though, I knew a couple of people that had to change an Incomplete in an independent study class to a completed class to get their degree, but the college allowed them to participate in the graduation ceremony. That was just fair because it was just a ceremony to share with friends and they probably were going to finish the needed work.

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Scott Wedel 3 weeks, 6 days ago

If he is willing to answer questions in the grocery store then maybe he would consider answering two online.

When told the college didn't say you graduated then why wasn't your first call to the college to straighten it out?

Is the account presented in the Boston Globe accurate when saying that you first said you would provide the transcript and then you said that the college refused to acknowledge your degree because you owed them money? If not, how would you correct it?

Seems to me that the initial claim on the resume was much less damaging than Mr Fisher's response to being told the college said he wasn't a graduate.

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jerry carlton 3 weeks, 5 days ago

My high school diploma and my college degree are in my file cabinet where they have lain 51 and 48 years respectively. I very vaguely remember walking across a stage twice and somebody handing them to me,

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scott bideau 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I figure I paid enough for those little pieces of paper - might as well display them. Actually, when I learned a duplicate copy of my college diplomas only cost $5, I ordered 10 to be funny. Told my parents that the first one cost them $25k but the second copy only set me back $5 :)

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rhys jones 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I learned more about TV in one semester interning at a real station, than I had in three years of classes. The main things I learned -- and retained -- on campus were, -- I'm not the only smart cat on the planet, -- in accounting, it always adds up to 0 -- and, statistics are fun. That's IT. Oh yeah -- Income Averaging -- then the IRS took that away.

The only thing that degree got me was into this town. Then I bailed on it.

It took a few years for my ex-guru to eventually pound into my head -- I can do anything, on this machine, gurus and questions are for the other guy; the resources are right here. He doesn't have a degree -- he was too busy learning the real world, and wrapping it around himself. Dude lives the Life of Riley.

Re/the current affair -- If Kevin attended and passed the requirements for the degree, I'd say he should get it. I got mine, though I am still in arrears on my student loan; they hijack my tax return for it... not that the pigskin is worth anything in my case.

Einstein said "It's not that I'm so much smarter than everybody else -- I just stick with the problem longer." Words to live by -- and you don't need a degree for that.

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Tim Harris 3 weeks, 5 days ago

It seems to me that Mr. Fisher doesnt have to answer any questions if he doesnt want to because it concerns no one but him and the state of Mass. He has complied with all regulations for operating a medical marijuana business here in Steamboat and that should be the end of it. He would have every right to tell anyone inquiring to go jump in a lake and mind their business if he so desired. Even if there werent a single truth on his application in Mass. it still would have zero effect on Steamboat Springs or our lives here. We all know that the only reason that this issue is receiving any attention at all is because it involves the legalization of marijuana. Period. Marijuana is here to stay so get used to it. No matter how much bad press from 2000 miles away is generated it won't change a thing here in Steamboat. Pot will still be legal and Mr. Fisher will still be co-owner of a very successful business that provides many jobs and contributes to the local tax base. Somehow, over the last 10 years or so, Americans have morphed into a society that has to express their opinion about every subject whether it concerns them or not. I would love to revert back to the good ole days when everyone minded their own business and only focused on the truly important things in life. I repeat, marijuana is here to stay so get used to it. The good people of Colorado and Steamboat Springs have spoken and this is what we want. Weed is legal, get over it and accept it. Find something productive to whine about.

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jerry carlton 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Scott Fortunately so many years ago I got through 3 years of school (went summers also to get 4 years of work in) it only cost $3600. My parents paid 2/3 and I paid 1/3. Of course I was only making $1.25 an hour while earning that $1200. The times have changed. Only thing that has gone up more than the cost of higher education is the cost of medical care.

Tim Smoke a joint and chill out. You seem a little tense.

Rhys Never got rich off my degree but I was able to quit work at 65 and would survive even if the politicians decide to end SS so the can keep paying themselves their ridiculous retirements and health care benefits.

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Tim Harris 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Thanks for the advice. I'm currently enjoying my Colorado given right. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......................

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rhys jones 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I wasted my GI Bill by majoring in the humanities, pre-law initially, then Communications, media/TV specifically. Like everyone else in that business, I had dreams of stardom, my name in lights. Little did I realize how competitive that field is, and how petty the egos which drive many in it.

My advice to the young would be to study the sciences and math. Engineering is where it's at in this day and age -- there aren't enough starring roles to go around. Then your abilities will get you where you're going -- not your reputation or personality. If you can produce something, you will find a job.

I was lucky the Marines taught me programming -- force-fed it -- before I made the wrong choice. It's been a good fallback career, whenever my plan didn't work. I'm not counting on SS or any other govt program for retirement -- by the time that happens, we'll be SinoSaudi America Inc.

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jerry carlton 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Rhys There has been a shortage of engineers since 1965 when I graduated. I never made the big bucks that the Electrical, Mechanical and Petroleum engineers made. I was not smart enough for those fields and had to settle for Industrial Engineering. I would think that the three named above would still be good plus Aerospace and Computer Engineering. Civil would be good too.

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rhys jones 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Jerry -- There seemed to be a spike of interest in the sciences when I finally made it to college, early '80's -- most of my best friends were studying chemistry and/or physics -- though I was bound for Hollywood (uh-huh) -- they just had the best conversations. I'm sure they are doing well today.

There was a popular song at the time: "I study nuclear science -- I love my classes -- got a crazy teacher; he wears dark glasses. I'm doin' all right, gettin' good grades. My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades."

Then rap came in, and things went to hell. Science is for nerds.

My first friend in town's son was in the cradle when I moved to town -- I was a videographer then, already a programmer. Years go by, my plan flouners -- meanwhile this kid, who I always thought was kind of slow, goes to Mines, gets hired by Intel, and flies around the country, putting out fires for them. And we can't talk: He does hardware -- I do software.

I rent. He owns.

Stay in school, kids. Although the degree is not necessary -- it can certainly help -- and it shows you've got perseverance, at least. If you major in Political Science or law, don't even talk to me.

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