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New York Will Open It’s First Marijuana Dispensary In January 2016

The New York state competition for five licenses was steep: 43 companies across the nation applied for five licenses. Each license allows for the operation of oneĀ manufacturing facility and four dispensaries, all of which must be based in New York state.

The New York licenses were awarded from the New York Department of Health. All five licenses were granted to companies that will be growing product in the state.

“We hope to move as closely to a pharmaceutical manufacturing process as we can,” said Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita.

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Additional license winners are Bloomfield Industries, Empire State Health Solutions, Etain and Pharmacannis.

“The New York program is a symbolic step forward in terms of visibility and awareness,” says Matthew Karnes, founder of Greenwave Advisors, an industry research firm.

Pharmacannis was founded in 2014 by two husband-wife duos, Teddy and Norah Scott and Christina and John Leja. The husbands come from legal backgrounds, having worked as intellectual property lawyers and the wives come frommarketing and human resources and recruiting.
Christina Leja, Teddy Scott and Norah Scott of Pharmacannis. Lawrence Collins

“There is no doubt that people really see and believe this (legalized medicinal use) is actually working and doing something, but what people are missing is how and why it’s working,” Teddy Scott said. “That is where we are trying to take this right now. … We can be leaders in the industry for respected purposes.”

In some cases, company founders’ first-hand experience seeing the medicinal benefits of marijuana persuaded them to launch ventures. Columbia Care’s Vita says his mother used cannabis balm for rheumatoid arthritis.

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“We had immediate family members who were all affected by debilitating conditions, so medical cannabis is something they will be able to try once the product is available,” said Pharmacannis’ Norah Scott.’

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To be clear, under New York’s medicinal program, approved uses of cannabis include liquid and oil preparations for consumption orally or through a tube. The Compassionate Care Act does not include smoking marijuana as a certified medical use, according to the Department of Health.

Both Pharmacannis and Columbia Care say they’re focused on ramping up medicinal operations and are not exploring recreational ventures at this point.

This article was first reported by NBC.com

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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