First medical marijuana dispensary licenses were awarded in Massachusetts this January. It didn’t take long for some folks to come up with this ingenious idea of trying to manipulate the system. Call us crazy, but we were under the impression that most folks knew that Facebook (or any other social media networking site) is not the best place to advertise illegal or apparent-but-not-really-legal activities. Boy, were we wrong or what? Mark and Holly Harrington of Tewksbury, Mass. were busted a week ago after allegedly selling weed via the social media giant. If you thought they were somehow discreet about their venture, think again. Their page was had an official name “HTM Gardening LLC” and they even had forms for new patients to fill out. Why this wasn’t a clever idea? Do read on.
Plants, cash and “new patient applications”
The title above describes the photographs depicted on the couple’s entrepreneurial Facebook page. Allegedly, they asked for patients to file application paperwork so they could “verify their status with the state”. Call us crazy again, but somehow we seriously doubt they were really doing that. An investigation into Mark and Holly Harrington, both 28, began when police detectives somehow “realized” that the couple was claiming to be running a legal medical marijuana operation out of their home. Police say the company, HTM Gardening, LLC, had its own Facebook page, with Mark listed as the CEO and Holly listed as co-founder and president. They were so eager to sell their produce that they decorated their page (again, reportedly) with photos of various marijuana plants that the couple said they were growing.
Toke of the town
In case you were wondering about the couple’s Facebook sales pitch, here it is: “Becoming a patient is easy. Simply fill out the New Patient Application below and email a copy of your certification, a photo I.D. and a signed Health Care Release Form so we can call to verify your certificate is valid.” The best part of their unsuccessful story is that they had a caregiver status, which means they could only grow marijuana for one person with a medical marijuana card. It’s pretty obvious to figure out their thought pattern after this initial “boost”. After a Facebook post tipped them off, an undercover detective called the business and set up a meeting with the busy couple, who allegedly sold him marijuana. That was enough for a warrant for their arrest. But hey, don’t leave just yet – there’s more to this story! After the undercover detective showed up at the couple’s house, he quickly realized that the assignment is going to be a joke – the couple were growing marijuana plants in plain view at their home. State law requires plants cannot be visible in plain view. We certainly hope that you, dear reader, are not involved or planning anything similar. Remember not to be a joke of the town.