Amid controversy, Fisher resigns from Massachusetts marijuana nonprofit | SteamboatToday.com

Amid controversy, Fisher resigns from Massachusetts marijuana nonprofit

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.

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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

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