Yesterday, the New York State Department of Health announced that 43 companies applied for five licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana. The applicants had to complete a massive amount of paperwork and pay $10,000 just for the opportunity to apply.
The companies that are selected will not have it easy. First, they have to pay the state $200,000. Second, they will be operating under a highly regulated and restricted program. If the state suspects any foul play, they can shut down the business immediately.
Each company that is selected will be allowed to open one cultivation facility and four dispensaries. On Tuesday, the state released the names of the applicants. Most of these companies had already stated that they were applying for a license, as well as where they plan on opening their dispensaries.
A very restricted program
The Health Department’s regulations have been criticized by a number of marijuana advocates as being too restrictive. New York’s medical marijuana program will allow state-certified doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy and other serious diseases and conditions.
The patients who actually qualify for medical marijuana will face restrictions such as medical marijuana cannot be smoked. Registered patients will be allowed to consume medical marijuana through pills, oils and vaporizers.