New York Announces MMJ License Winners

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New York has awarded licenses to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana to five businesses, including three that are already operating MMJ companies in other states or have permits to do so.

PharmaCann, Empire State Health Solutions, Columbia Care NY, Etain and Bloomfield Industries were awarded licenses to each operate one cultivation facility and four dispensaries in New York.

The three companies that earned the highest point total among the 43 applicants run medical marijuana businesses or have secured permits elsewhere.

PharmaCann already has four dispensary and two growing licenses in Illinois; Empire State Health Solutions is owned by Minnesota Medical Solutions, which operates two dispensaries in Minnesota; and Columbia Care runs dispensaries in Arizona, has licenses to open storefronts in Massachusetts and Illinois, and has a presence in Washington DC and Nevada.

Etain describes itself on its website as a “women-owned, family business.” Little is known about Bloomfield Industries.

New York’s MMJ program is expected to be up and running by next year. Dispensaries by law must be operational within 180 days of being licensed.

While startup costs could top $25 million each, the industry is expected to bring in from $40 million to $65 million in the first year alone, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook.

Some notable names were missing from the list of licensees, including a company owned by a former executive of the firm featured in the film “Wolf of Wall Street.” Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, which promised $5 million to academic and research institutions for study cannabis, finished seventh, less than four-tenths of a point from the fifth-place finisher.

Citiva Medical – run by MMJ pioneer Josh Stanley, who helped develop the Charlotte’s Web strain of cannabis – had the ninth-highest score.

Observers expect that some companies that lost out will file lawsuits.