Northeast Patients Group sees slight delays in pot clinic openings

March 14th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

BANGOR, Maine — The head of Northeast Patients Group, a nonprofit organization formed to operate half of the state’s eight medical marijuana dispensaries, said the recent financial struggles of its California-based investor would not affect plans in Maine.

In an interview late last week, Rebecca DeKeuster said she could not comment directly on reports that Berkeley Patients Group in California owes $6.4 million in back taxes on the sale of marijuana. She did say, however, that Northeast Patients Group has a new financial partner, although she declined to identify that partner

“We are on target with our four clinics,” said DeKeuster, who worked at Berkeley Patients Group before coming to Maine. “I think we would have liked to be up and running sooner, but we understand that this is a process.”

DeKeuster said Northeast Patients Group already has leases on dispensaries in Thomaston and Portland and is close to picking locations in Augusta and Bangor. She expected the first clinics to open in May and the others by July.

The cultivation facility for Northeast Patients Group, where medical marijuana will be grown for all four clinics, has not been sited, but DeKeuster confirmed that it will be in Portland.

“A lot of it came down to zoning,” she said. “The town of Hermon was on the table [for a cultivation facility], but the town made it financially unfeasible.”

In the fall of 2009, Maine voters approved changes to Maine’s Medical Marijuana Act that allows for the creation of nonprofit

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