Steamboat man’s weed expertise tapped for Boston operations |

Steamboat man’s weed expertise tapped for Boston operations

— Kevin Fisher, co-owner of Rocky Mountain Remedies in Steamboat Springs, has won approval to open two new medical marijuana dispensaries in the Boston area.

The Department of Public Health in Massachusetts announced its decision Friday. Out of 100 finalists, it approved 20 licenses.

"It was a very competitive process," Fisher said.

A law approved by 63 percent of voters in November 2012 allowed the Department of Public Health to issue as many as 35 licenses to nonprofit companies that would run the dispensaries. Patients will be able to purchase marijuana with a doctor's approval and a state-issued registration card.

Fisher has taken on the role of executive director and chief operating officer for one of the nonprofits, New England Treatment Access Inc. He said the dispensaries in Northampton and Brookline could be selling marijuana to patients by Aug. 1.

Fisher said he was recruited to run the nonprofit for the Kessler family. The family has the Kessler Group financial services company and is heavily involved in philanthropy, particularly involving health care.

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"Their hearts are in the right place," Fisher said.

Fisher said he anticipates there could be an initiative on the November 2016 ballot to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use, but that business potential is not necessarily what brought him to splitting his time between Steamboat and Boston.

"I really do believe this is a therapy that more people should have access to," Fisher said.

Fisher noted that he is being paid a salary, and while he said "it is not a ton of money," his for-profit Rocky Mountain Remedies company does stand to benefit. The Rempen vaporizer produced by Rocky Mountain Remedies to discreetly consume marijuana will be sold at the medical marijuana dispensaries in Boston.

Operations in Boston will be considerably larger than those in Steamboat, where about 50 people are employed. The two retail spaces each will be about 4,000 square feet, and the cultivation facility will be 100,000 square feet.

New England Treatment Access Inc. will employ between 150 and 250 people, Fisher said.

Golden Leaf fails inspection

Rocky Mountain Remedies still is the only place to purchase recreational marijuana in Steamboat, and it appears it'll remain that way for at least a while longer.

Steamboat Police Chief Joel Rae said the Golden Leaf dispensary failed its inspection Tuesday that would have enabled it to do recreational marijuana sales. Rae said the Golden Leaf owners next hope to seek license approval during a March 11 Marijuana Licensing Authority meeting.

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