New York is now accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses. Only five applicants will be approved to cultivate and dispense approved medical marijuana and they are each limited to four dispensaries. The deadline for filing an application is May 29th and there is a nonrefundable application fee of $10,000, with the registration fee costing $200,000.The approved applicants will be announced some time in July. But even as the state collects money from these applicants, potential licensees are still faced with hurdles.
According to an article in Forbes, contributor Deborah Borchardt reports that the approved dispensaries will have to be “geographically dispensed or located in multiple counties across the state, but not in counties that are neighboring or in close proximity. So if you choose New York County, which includes Manhattan and the boroughs, be prepared to give up the suburbs of Westchester or Long Island’s Nassau county. There will be no delivery services unless the Department Of Health provides prior written approval.”
One other challenge, even if a business is approved and licensed, it will need to secure a location and get local approval before building the facility. But even if a ‘seasoned’ medical marijuana business gets approved and leases a potential building or buys one in anticipation, the build-out takes months. Then it will take another few more months to start growing the product before it can be dispensed. And that all has to get done by January 5, 2016, the implementation date for the program.
According to the Forbes article, the approved licensees will be limited to five brands of medical marijuana and the DOH will set the price. Patients will need certification from a registered practitioner, but the DOH hasn’t started a process for registering practitioners or the patients.