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Thread: NY: Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Expansion

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    NY: Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Expansion

    Three companies that got state approval last month to produce medical marijuana in Orange and Ulster counties face a legal hurdle as they develop their plans: a lawsuit by five existing medical-marijuana businesses that aims to stop the expansion of their fledgling industry.

    The newly approved competitors include Valley Agriceuticals, which already erected a building in the Town of Wallkill in 2015 in anticipation of a license it didn’t get that year. Another is Citiva Medical, which is said to be considering building its manufacturing site in a new Warwick business park that used to be the grounds of a state prison. Both were among five medical-marijuana companies the state Department of Health gave permission to operate on Aug. 1, doubling the number of businesses allowed into that strictly regulated industry.

    A third company, PalliaTech, got approval to produce medical marijuana in Ulster County. It was unclear on Thursday if that company has chosen a site.

    PharmaCann, which began growing and processing medical marijuana in Hamptonburgh last year, and the other four companies licensed in 2015 sued the Department of Health in April to block the additional licenses the state already indicated it would issue. Those companies, represented collectively as the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association, have asked the state Supreme Court in Albany for a preliminary injunction to stop the new businesses from opening while the case is pending. The court has yet to rule on that request.

    The plaintiffs argue that the 2014 state law authorizing medical marijuana clearly limited the number of operators to five. They also argue the opening of additional businesses — referred to by the state as registered organizations, or R.O.s — would cripple their struggling operations and could cause them to fail.

    “Flooding the supply market when there is insufficient patient demand will undermine the viability of the entire Program, which is not yet a profitable industry,” Albany attorney Kelly Foss wrote in the complaint.

    The Valley Agriceuticals building sits behind a locked gate on Dosen Road in western Wallkill, untouched since the company finished eighth in the state’s scoring of 43 medical-marijuana applicants in 2015. It sued the state last year to challenge that scoring, but withdrew its lawsuit after the Department of Health had recommended issuing five more licenses. Now, it and the four other companies welcomed into the program on Aug. 1 have sided with the Department of Health in the litigation brought by the original licensees.

    Robert Bellafiore, a spokesman for Valley Agriceuticals, said Thursday that the company is working with the Department of Health to get its building design and security plans approved. He had no target date for opening.

    Each of the five companies given licenses in August have approval for a single manufacturing site and four dispensaries, scattered in different parts of the state to maximize the drug’s availability for patients with conditions that qualify them to take it. The only local dispensary operating now is in the Town of Ulster. Under the plans approved in August, two dispensaries would open in Orange County.

    The state Department of Health issued statistics in August to justify the additional licenses, saying the number of New Yorkers certified to take medical marijuana had surged by 72 percent since the state allowed doctors to prescribe it for chronic pain. New York then had 25,736 patients certified to take medical marijuana, compared to the 8,972 who were certified at the time of a Times Herald-Record article in October.



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    Full Article: Lawsuit targets medical marijuana expansion - News - recordonline.com - Middletown, NY
    Author: Chris McKenna
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    Website: recordonline.com: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Middletown, NY
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    420 Member wildflowerbudd's Avatar
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    Re: NY: Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Expansion

    The lawyers are sure getting rich in this industry.

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