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First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Set to Open in Brooklyn By End of Year

Brooklynites are closer than ever to getting access to legal medical marijuana in their own borough.

A.J. Herrington

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First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Set to Open in Brooklyn By End of Year
Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

The borough of Brooklyn in New York City is slated to get its first medical marijuana dispensary by the end of this year, according to a release from cannabis company Citiva Medical. The firm is one of ten medicinal cannabis providers licensed by the state of New York.

Amy Holdener, the director of marketing and communications at Citiva Medical, told High Times via email that the company is looking forward to opening its new dispensary.

“We are excited to be a part of the Brooklyn community,” Holdener said. “The patients in this area have not had easy access to medical marijuana products, having to travel to other areas for their medication. We are eager to open as quickly as possible to serve the community’s needs.”

Construction on the facility is nearing completion, and the company expects the dispensary to open within the next two to three months. The site is across the street from Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders of the NHL.

The dispensary will be in the heart of Brooklyn, and Citiva Medical plans to engage with the local community to share information about the medicinal benefits of cannabis even before it opens its doors at the new facility.

“We hope that not just medical patients visit our dispensary, but anyone interested in learning more about cannabis, the science behind the medicine, and the safety and efficacy of these products,” Holdener added. “Our dispensary in Brooklyn will be unlike any dispensaries in New York. Our team of product specialists and pharmacists are highly educated, and our environment is welcoming and beautiful with art provided by local Brooklyn artists.”

Plan Revealed Last Year

Plans for the new dispensary were revealed in August of last year when the state health department announced that five providers would be added to the New York medical marijuana program. In addition to Citiva Medical, Valley Agriceuticals will open up shop in Brooklyn.

Since that announcement, Fiorello Pharmaceutics has already opened in Manhattan and PalliaTech has opened a Curaleaf brand dispensary in Queens. NYCanna has also received a license to operate in Queens.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said at the time that expanding access to medical marijuana would benefit patients.

“The addition of these registered organizations will make it easier for patients across the state to obtain medical marijuana, improve the affordability of medical marijuana products through the introduction of new competition, and increase the variety of medical marijuana products available to patients,” said Zucker.

The addition of the new licensees brought the total of medicinal cannabis providers in New York to 10. If all of the companies build the four medical marijuana dispensaries they are allowed under their licenses, the Empire State will eventually have 40 cannabis dispensaries.

Medical Marijuana in New York

The New York medical marijuana program was passed into law in 2014 and became operational the following year. Initially, only patients with 12 serious medical conditions or chronic pain could receive a recommendation from a doctor to use medical marijuana. Only products infused with cannabis are available to patients– smokable flower is not allowed.

In July of this year, the health department issued emergency rules that allowed patients prescribed opioids to use medical marijuana instead.

Holdener of Citiva Medical said the company supports further expansion of the New York medicinal cannabis program.

“We continue to push for easier access to medical marijuana products, better pricing for patients, and fewer regulations to reduce the burdens both physicians and patients face in participating in the program,” she said

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