August 4, 2011

Marijuana dispensary taps financing

By Michael Shepherd
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — Maine’s largest medical marijuana dispensary unexpectedly disclosed that the president of a prominent California dispensary chain is the point person for a new financing deal it says will allow them to open its first Maine dispensary “within weeks.”

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REBECCA DEKEUSTER, Northeast Patients Group executive director

Related Documents

Northeast Patients Group agreement

The Wellness and Pain Management Connection LLC was named as the financier of an eight-year, $1.6 million loan, which, according to documents provided to the Kennebec Journal by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, will be paid back at 8.5 percent interest per year.

A database search of the Wellness and Pain Management Connection LLC found that the limited-liability company was formed only Wednesday in Delaware, the same day the agreement was finalized.

The collective, according to documents, is comprised of The Farmacy Institute for Wellness of West Hollywood, Calif., and Cuttino Mobley, a former NBA and Maine Central Institute basketball player.

JoAnna LaForce is the president of The Farmacy, which operates a chain of marijuana dispensaries in California. According to the term sheet released today, she will “oversee and support delivery of certain consulting and related services.”

Mobley, a former NBA basketball player who signed a letter of intent with Northeast Patients Group in February, was widely thought to be the sole financier of a larger loan.

That February letter, now presumably off the table, outlined a much harsher agreement — a  $2 million loan to Northeast over seven years, paid back at 18 percent interest per year.

Northeast says the new money will help it open its first dispensary — in Thomaston — "within weeks." The outfit holds the exclusive licenses to operate four of eight marijuana dispensaries in Maine, including three of the state's largest markets: Portland, Bangor and Augusta.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services still must sign off on the deal.

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