Dozens of cannabis companies and entrepreneurs are shelling out thousand of dollars a month on lobbyists in New York as they gear up to compete for just five licenses to grow and dispense medical marijuana in the state.
The goal is to align with people who have access to local politicians and the policymakers in charge of crafting rules on the MMJ industry and the licensing process.
Companies such as KannaLife Sciences, MJ Freeway, Privateer Holdings, Lewiston Greenhouse and Great Lakes Medicinals have already hired lobbying firms, according to Capital New York.
New York’s medical marijuana program was even dubbed the “Lobbyist Employment Act of 2015” because hundreds of cannabis firms are willing to pay big bucks to get into the market.
License hopefuls are still hoping for plenty of tweaks to New York’s MMJ program, and many are already preparing for the state selection process. Those that apply for a license will have to provide detailed plans covering production, security, transportation, recordkeeping, and more.
The companies and their lobbyists will also have to be able to smooth the way with local politicians who may harbor serious reserves about allowing MMJ dispensaries or cultivation facilities in their neighborhoods.