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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Marijuana firm may move from Boylston St.

The owners of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary on Boston’s fashionable Boylston Street said Tuesday they are considering an alternative location, after facing a barrage of criticism about their plan to open in the Back Bay.

A lawyer for Good Chemistry, one of 20 dispensaries approved by state health officials for a provisional license, told the Boston City Council during a public hearing that the firm is negotiating with a landlord for another site, but that it was not prepared to disclose that location until it has reached a deal.

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Attorney Jim Smith told councilors that he and company officials have already raised the possibility of an alternative Boston location with the state Department of Public Health.

Smith said in an interview that the new location is in the city’s central business district, but wouldn’t be more specific. He added that the company will know within two weeks whether it will move to the new site.

A top official of a second proposed Boston dispensary, said he is sensitive to the withering criticism about the company’s choice of Southampton Street for its proposed facility, but hopes to work with neighbors to resolve their concerns.

Residents and business owners have lined up against the facilty, saying the neighborhood near Boston Medical Center already shoulders a heavy burden, with three methadone clinics in the area.

Boston Police Department officials testified at the hearing that they worry that a dispensary would increase crime in an already high-crime area.

Andrew DeAngelo, executive director of Green Heart, said his company is willing to work with the neighborhood to make his facility as safe as possible.

“I will always be here. I will always be transparent. I want to form a team that can distribute this medicine safely,” DeAngelo said.

In another development Tuesday, a company that won preliminary approval for a medical marijuana dispensary in Dennis said that it removed a Colorado man from its management team last month, even before learning that his license to cultivate marijuana in that state had been revoked two years ago.

John J. Czarkowski’s contract to oversee the marijuana cultivation operation of William Noyes Webster Foundation expired at the end of January and he was notified on Feb. 6 that it wouldn’t be renewed, according to the company.

The Globe reported Tuesday that Czarkowski and his wife, Diane, who were part of the management team of William Noyes Webster and two other companies planning to open dispensaries in Haverhill and Quincy, were forced to shut down their Colorado medical marijuana facility in 2012 for numerous violations.

During a brief interview with the Globe on Monday, Paul Covell, chief executive officer of William Noyes Webster, did not dislose that the company had severed ties with Czarkowski and said he had met him only once and didn’t know how he came to be hired. He referred calls to the company’s chief operating officer, Jane Heatley, who did not return a call.

But, during an interview Tuesday, Covell said Czarkowski was part of the company’s management team when it submitted its application for a dispensary to the state Department of Public Health. “But over the next few weeks he failed to deliver what he was supposed to deliver and was non-responsive,” Covell said.

He said Czarkowski ignored repeated requests to provide a scope of his work and fees, and failed to respond to a general contractor hired to renovate a building that would be used to grow marijuana.

Czarkowski, who with his wife operates Canna Advisors, a consulting firm, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

William Noyes Webster was unaware that Czarkowski’s marijuana cultivation license had been revoked in Boulder, Colo., until last month, when a candidate to succeed Czarkowski as the company’s cultivation manager disclosed it during an interview, Covell said.

“We never would have engaged in any kind of relationship with him had we known this,” Covell said.

The company said its contract with Czarkowski ran from Sept. 2013 to Jan. 31 -- the same day the state announced the 20 dispensaries approved for provisional licensing.

William Noyes Webster did not tell state public health officials that it cut Czarkowski from its management team, or about the revocation of his Colorado license, Covell said. He said a lawyer advised the company to wait to disclose the information during a meeting with state Department of Public Health officials slated for next Monday about their proposed dispensary.

“You’ve got to understand, every application is under the microscope,” Covell said. “We don’t want to do anything that would trigger unnecessary review of us.”

Kay Lazar can be reached at Kay.Lazar@globe.com Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar. Shelley Murphy can be reached at Shelley.Murphy@globe.com Follow her on Twitter @Shellymurph.
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