Search Of Med Pot Business Finds Blank, Signed Authorizations

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Photo: Michael Gallacher/Missoulian
Jason Christ, founder of Montana Caregivers Network, fires up a bowl

‚ÄčPolice who searched the Montana medical marijuana business run by Jason Christ last week claim they found 729 physician-signed medical marijuana recommendation forms with no patient information filled in.

Law enforcement also seized a laptop computer and other documents last Thursday during a search of the Montana Caregivers Network, which is run by Christ, reports Gwen Florio at The Missoulian.
Several former MCN employees told authorities that Christ kept such pre-signed patient forms, and law enforcement officers who searched the business last week did so based on those allegations, among others.

Several medical marijuana applications — which Missoula police subpoenaed from the Department of Public Health and Human Services — also bore physician signatures that appeared to be forgeries, according to the search warrant, which was made public Tuesday.
Christ’s MCN helps patients get physician recommendations for medical marijuana and is well known for staging traveling “cannabis caravans” which typically sign up hundreds of patients within a few hours.
The search last week at Christ’s offices was based on a warrant that applied to “criminal distribution of dangerous drugs” — marijuana — as well as forgery, deceptive practices and tampering with public records or information.
It culminated an investigation seemingly begun in March when Christ’s former bookkeeper, Anita Corrigan, told police detective Jake Rosling that the business had stacks of blank, pre-signed medical marijuana authorizations, according to the warrant application.
In June, another ex-MCN employee, Susan Boykin, told Sgt. Collin Rose she had seen at least 1,000 such forms.
Both Boykin and Corrigan had been fired by Christ.
During the search last week, police confiscated Christ’s laptop and two external drives; 729 blank, signed physician’s recommendations for medical marijuana; bank documents and other paperwork; and seven Montana medical marijuana cards listing Christ as caregiver that were either expired or altered.
Information from three other former MCN employees — Nicole Harrington, Tiffany Klang and John Phillips, who are all suing Christ for wrongful termination — also was cited in search warrant application.
Phillips told Sgt. Rose that Christ refused to refund $25 checks that people wrote to MCN to cover their State of Montana medical marijuana filing fee.
“Harrington stated she saw Christ alter numerous twenty-five dollar client checks that were sent in to the State of Montana by changing or adding patient names to the memo line. … The result of these checks being altered was money did not go toward the bill of the person the check writer intended,” the warrant application said.
Fees from the 81 people involved totaled $2,025, according to Sgt. Rose.
Phillips also told police that Christ told employees to go ahead and process applications from 81 people denied medical marijuana recommendations by their doctors.
In July, Sgt. Rose subpoenaed records from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services that showed medical marijuana applications where physician signatures did not match and appeared to be forgeries, the warrant said.
Four documents under a single doctor’s name appeared to have been signed by four different people, according to documents examiner Barbara Fortunate, the warrant application said.
Christ spoke to Sgt. Rose on September 17 in an interview recorded at the Missoula Police Department.
“Christ stated he has physicians sign otherwise blank Attending Physician’s Statement-New Application forms and he keeps them in a locked cabinet in his office to be filled out by approved medical marijuana applicants,” the search warrant said.
At Christ’s offices, all references to Montana Caregivers Network have been removed, according to The Missoulian. Signs at the business now say Cannabis Care.
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