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Regulators reinstate licenses for marijuana company after drug charge against owner is dismissed

Richard Vogel/Associated Press/File/Associated Press

After a drug charge against the owner of a local marijuana company was dismissed, Massachusetts cannabis regulators announced they have restored all six of the company’s licenses that had been suspended.

Nova Farms LLC, which has several licenses in Attleboro and Sheffield, initially had its licenses suspended in September, just a few weeks after the arrest of one of its owners, Mark Rioux, on charges that he was involved in an illegal marijuana-growing operation. He faced one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Aug. 29.

In a motion to dismiss the charges, filed on behalf of Rioux in September, his attorney argued that “the application for complaint, accompanying police reports, and/or statement of probable cause required for issuance of the charges fail to establish probable cause that the defendant did conspire to violate the drug laws.”

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The state’s Cannabis Control Commission reinstated the company’s licenses on Oct. 16, writing that the “threats to public health, safety, and welfare had been mitigated.”

“Nova Farms remains under Commission investigation and the agency continues to monitor the entity’s inventory and security systems to protect against any risk of diversion,” the commission wrote in a statement.

Nova Farms has six pending licenses. In Attleboro, it has provisional licenses for adult-use cultivation, manufacturing, and retail, as well as a provisional license for a medical marijuana dispensary. In Sheffield, it has a final license for outdoor cultivation and a provisional license for indoor cultivation.

None of the locations have received their final notices to start operating.


Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.