Although the New York State Health Department hasn’t revealed the names of the applicants vying to become one of the five licensed operations that will supply the state with medical cannabis, a report published by The New York Times indicates that several major hospitals are among the petitioners – a revelation that points toward the possibility of some medical facilities providing patients with cannabis.
As many as 300 applicants reportedly filed the necessary paperwork to become a part of the state’s medical marijuana program. And while officials with the State Health Department said it could be over a month before the identities of these applicants are revealed, a number of hospitals have come forward to make their intentions known.
One medical center, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, announced their partnership with Silverpeak Apothecary, a medical cannabis enterprise based in Colorado. Together, they have formed a new company called Silverpeak NY, which they hope will allow patients at their facility to have access to medicinal cannabis.
In a statement issued by this leading medical group, chief executive Michael Dowling maintains that the partnership was established because the hospital “recognizes the importance of our patients having access to every legal option to manage the symptoms of their illness, if there is clinical evidence to support marijuana’s use for the condition.”
While it’s not uncommon for medical organizations to experiment with marijuana to test its healing properties against serious disease, the latest news indicates that the health community is starting to embrace the concept of medicinal cannabis and they want to offer it as a treatment option.
The University of Rochester Medical Center and the Mount Sinai Health System in Manhattan told the New York Times that although they didn’t apply for licenses themselves, they’re working with several companies to provide medical marijuana for their patients.
Peter Robinson, chief operating officer for the University of Rochester Medical Center, said he was “positively encouraged” that the hospital would build relationships with medical marijuana providers. However, he said the facility would not be able to keep a dispensary on site due to problems that arise when selling a product for profit in a non-profit environment.
The Greater New York Hospital Association, too, reportedly submitted an application to join the state’s cannabis market.
New York’s medical marijuana program only allows five producers to cultivate and distribute the herb for potentially hundreds of thousands of patients. These selected few will be allowed to open four locations, providing participants with a total of 20 dispensaries across the state.
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