State prepares for new medical marijuana companies

 ALBANY — The state Department of Health has given conditional approval to five companies seeking new licenses to grow, produce and sell medical marijuana products, with plans to dole out full registrations later this month if those companies meet certain requirements. In an affidavit included with court papers filed in state Supreme Court in Albany late last week, Nicole Quackenbush, director of the state’s medical marijuana program, wrote that DOH had on May 25 conditionally registered five companies it had been considering for new licenses. In its lawsuit, the association contended that the medical marijuana program was set up by the state Legislature in 2014 through the Compassionate Care Act to accommodate only five registered organizations at a time, calling into question statutory language pertaining to the state Heath commissioner’s authority to register new operators. There are any number of reasons for that trend, including high prices, the lack of insurance coverage for medical marijuana, deaths of some patients who registered for the program and difficulties in finding practitioners willing to certify patients, something DOH sought to improve earlier this month by publishing the namesof consenting doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants on its website. “The basis for the commissioner’s determination to expand the market to include five additional ROs is multi-faceted, and reflects the reasonableness and diversity of his decision,” states the response, filed by the state attorney general’s office.

Source: State prepares for new medical marijuana companies

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