State Adds Five Medical Marijuana Operations

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Prescription strength: New York State has licensed five new medical marijuana companies to open dispensaries, including as many as four on Long Island.

The five first companies to register and to form the Medical Cannabis Industry Alliance are New York Canna, Valley Agriceuticals, Citify Medical and Ferrell Pharmaceuticals.

As Fiorella co-CEO Eric Sirota told reporters, "what distinguishes us from the other companies in the market is that all of our facilities will be located in medical buildings, in academic medical settings". They join the following five ROs, which have been operating since the program's launch in January 2016 and have been re-registered for another two years: MedMen, formerly known as Bloomfield Industries; Columbia Care; Etain; PharmaCann; and Vireo Health of NY.

Citiva Medical is one of five companies that have been authorized by the state Department of Health to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

But the state recently chose to authorize five more medical marijuana companies to improve access to the drug and drum up more competition.

But in an application submitted to the state two years ago, the company, also known as New York Canna, revealed plans to grow and process marijuana at 241 Farrell Road in a almost 200,000-square-foot building on a site formerly occupied by General Electric and Syroco Inc. Neither company spokeswoman Carly Sullivan nor the state health department would provide that information Tuesday. The company's dispensaries will be in Erie, Orange, Queens and Suffolk counties.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law in July 2014 allowing patients with cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's disease and certain other medical conditions to obtain nonsmokeable versions of marijuana that can be ingested or vaporized. One of those companies, Citiva Medical, will reportedly open a dispensary in Chemung County.

Valley Agriceuticals, which will manufacture in Orange County and operate dispensaries in Suffolk, Oneida and Dutchess counties, as well as Brooklyn.

The Department of Health says there are now more than 25,000 certified patients and over 1,000 registered practitioners in the program.

These numbers show that the numbers of users has grown to 72% more since March (10,744 more patients).