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State health commissioner held fund-raisers for congressman awarded medical marijuana licenses

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The state public health commissioner held two fund-raisers in 2005 and 2006 for then-US representative William Delahunt, a fact she failed to disclose until her agency was in the final weeks of reviewing applications from the former congressman and dozens of others to operate medical marijuana dispensaries.

Cheryl Bartlett said on the conflict-of-interest disclosure form filed Dec. 31 that she would be selecting the license winners, but two weeks later, her deputy, the new director of the state medical marijuana program, was granted the authority to make the final decision. At the end of January, Delahunt’s group was awarded three of the coveted 20 licenses.

Bartlett, who became commissioner last June, had publicly acknowledged that she donated to Delahunt’s campaign in 2007. But the form obtained by the Globe shows she also hosted political fund-raisers for Delahunt in 2005 and 2006.

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