The state Department of Consumer Protection has decided to let Advanced Grow Labs LLC retain its status as one of four companies licensed to legally produce medical marijuana in Connecticut — despite the fact that one of its corporate team members lost his license to produce marijuana in Colorado in 2012.
That team member, John J. Czarkowski, resigned as Advanced Grow Labs’ director of production after the Tuesday revelation that he had to shut down his Colorado marijuana dispensary and production facility, Boulder Kind Care, in 2012 after the city of Boulder, Colo., moved to revoke his license for several alleged violations of regulations.
Advanced Grow Labs said that although it identified Czarkowski as its director of production in licensing materials submitted to the state, he was a consultant.
Late Friday afternoon, state Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein announced the outcome of his agency’s three-day inivestigation of Advanced Grow Labs.
“A careful review of the circumstances surrounding consultant John J. Czarkowski’s license revocation by the city of Boulder, Colorado, and his efforts to conceal this information, has led the Department to conclude that he is not appropriate to act as a consultant in the ongoinig operation of a facility in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program,” Rubenstein wrote Friday to David Lipton, managing partner of Advanced Grow Labs.
The consumer protection agency’s inquiry began after the Boston Globe Tuesday morning revealed the Colorado problems of Czarkowski, who was part of three groups that had won preliminary approval to run medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. The Courant then reported that he was part of Advanced Grow Labs in Connecticut.
“Despite our concerns with Mr. Czarkowski, we have concluded that the best course of action for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, and the patients it is designed to serve, is to allow Advanced Grow Labs to retain its medical marijuana producer license,” Rubenstein added.
“We did not reach this decision lightly,” he wrote. “Our conclusion is based on our conviction — after a factual review — that Advanced Grow Labs, which is primairly a Connecticut-based company whose principals have longstanding roots in the state, was equally misled by Mr. Czarkowski, despite havinig done a thorough background check prior to retaining him.”