The time has come for pot growers who want to become one of the suppliers for New York’s medical marijuana program to put their name in the proverbial hat.
Earlier this week, the state’s Department of Health announced that it is officially in the process of accepting applications from those companies serious about cultivating medical marijuana for the patients of New York. The agency has set an application deadline of May 14, and licenses will be granted by sometime in July.
“This represents an important step in implementing the medical marijuana program in New York State,” Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said 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.”
This lottery of sorts, which will only give a total of five companies permission to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana across the state, is expected to get rather interesting, especially since previous reports have indicated that hundreds of cannabis corporations from all over the United States will likely cast a bid. In fact, a story published at the beginning of the year by Capital New York suggested that lobbyists for many of these firms were already pressing the flesh with labor unions and other influential decision makers in an attempt to secure a place in the market before the state opened the application process.
However, companies chomping at the bit to get in on the medical marijuana market will need to provide officials with more than just suitcases full of cash to earn the right to call themselves one of the state’s cannabis kingpins. In addition to cleverly persuading local lawmakers to support them, applicants will need to present thorough proposals that indicate every aspect of their operation is tight.
“These applications are going to have to be very comprehensive in their approach to address all the requirements,” said Patrick McCarthy, a lobbyist representing KannaLife Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical organization that is expected to be among the applicants.
For a chance to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York, applicants will be forced to cough up a $10,000 non-refundable application fee, as well as $200,000 for registration costs, which the health department says will be refunded to those companies that do not make the cut.
Applications can be obtained here.