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Medical marijuana growers can apply in New York
ALBANY – The state Department of Health announced Monday it is accepting applications
from businesses interested in becoming registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in New York.
"This represents an important step in implementing the medical marijuana program in New York State," said acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in a statement. "We have laid out an ambitious timeline in getting the program up and running and we are meeting our goals. Once the applications are in, we can begin our review and move to the next step of selecting the registered organizations this summer."
The state expects to register the companies selected by July.
After the law was approved, it started an 18-month clock for the health department have the program up and running. The program will allow state-certified doctors to prescribe the drug to patients with cancer, epilepsy and other serious diseases and conditions.
The state plans to award five contracts to private marijuana growers, who will each be permitted to open up to four dispensaries to distribute the drug to certified patients across the state. State officials have estimated it would take about nine months to grow the marijuana.
The new law will only allow the drug in non-smokeable forms, including pills, oils and vapors.
Applicants are required to provide detailed plans about their operations and must pay a $10,000 non-refundable application fee in addition to a $200,000 registration fee, the health department said.
The $200,000 registration fee will be refunded to entities that are not issued a registration.