BOSTON — The wait continues.
It’s been almost two years since Northeast Alternatives submitted an application to state marijuana regulators for a provisional license to open a cultivation facility in Lakeville.
State statute says the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has 90 days either to approve or reject the application.
An attorney for the Fall River-based grower, manufacturer and seller of legal, recreational pot argued Monday on a Zoom meeting with a Suffolk Superior Court judge that his client deserves an answer.
Mark Knights said his client has spent $2 million to date paying $200,000 a month rent for a piece of property in a town that has previously given its approval for Northeast Alternatives to begin growing marijuana.
“They’ve already sunk millions of dollars into that location,” Knights told Judge Kenneth Salinger.
Northeast Alternatives filed a preliminary injunction and complaint against the state commission in September 2020.
Knights reiterated that Section 5 of Massachusetts General Law 94-G stipulates that the commission has 90 days to forward a copy of the application to a city or town with its decision either to approve or reject the application.
He acknowledged that there is an ongoing “suitability investigation” regarding Northeast Alternatives but said the commission “never intimated that the application was incomplete.”
“It’s time for the commission to do what it’s supposed to do,” Knights said.
Northeast Alternatives and its chief executive Chris Harkins have not been named in a federal court case now underway in Boston charging former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia with extortion and taking kickbacks from potential marijuana business interests who wanted to operate in the city.
Assistant Attorney General Julie Green, representing the Cannabis Control Commission, did, however, said that Harkins is expected to testify in the trial.
Green told the judge that the trial is not an impediment to the cannabis commission rendering a decision.
As for the prolonged delay in rendering an application decision, she said the commission has deemed the application to be “incomplete.”
Green said her office sent a letter to Northeast Alternatives last May and obtained some information pertaining to “the Correia matter” but in July of 2020 requested additional information regarding “background facts of the applicant and Harkins’ conduct.”
Judge Salinger closed the hearing by saying he would make a ruling “as soon as I possible can.”