AUGUSTA — Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services approved financing for the state’s largest medical marijuana nonprofit this week, paving the way for the opening of four dispensaries for which it holds exclusive state licenses.

A letter dated Wednesday from Catherine Cobb, the director of DHHS’ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, to Northeast Patients Group Executive Director Becky DeKeuster, was provided to the Kennebec Journal by Stephen Langsdorf, an Augusta-based attorney representing Northeast in a lawsuit against its former financial backer.

“I have had the opportunity to compare the change that have occurred in financing and consulting services and have decided that these changes do not diminish or otherwise alter the original plans for Maine’s operations,” Cobb wrote. “They are consistent with the original proposal.”

Northeast hasn’t yet opened a single dispensary, while all other dispensaries in Maine are operational.
It also has significantly dialed back financial expectations it envisioned in its initial applications with another financial backer.

In its 2010 application, Northeast projected a net gain of more than $426,000 while serving 691 patients in its first full year.

On July 20, Northeast thought it would lose more than $1.75 million serving 540 patients in its first full year of operation.

The Wellness and Pain Management Connection LLC — which formed Aug. 3 in Delaware — will lend Northeast $1.6 million during eight years at 8.5 annual interest. Northeast filed documents with DHHS on Aug. 4 announcing the agreement.