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First May Not Be Best in New York’s Race For Medical Marijuana Licenses

Competition is heating up among companies jockeying for one of the state’s five medical-marijuana licenses. But for some, being an early adopter in New York, with its restrictive medical-marijuana law, isn’t worth the financial risk.

GrowOp, a unit of publicly traded TerraTech, considered applying for a New York license, but shareholders pushed to prioritize licensing in Nevada instead, citing legal standards that promised a larger patient base and lower infrastructure costs in the desert. The company had looked at purchasing a cultivation site and recruiting staff in New York until last Wednesday, when Terra-Tech CEO Derek Peterson announced the Irvine, Calif.-based company wouldn’t be bidding.

“Putting together a team is not difficult for us, but we want to make sure we’re utilizing our assets and capital for the most advantageous purposes,” Peterson said.

At first, he feared New York would restrict public companies from getting a license. But even after it was clear public companies were welcome, Peterson wasn’t sure that applying early in New York would provide a good return on his shareholders’ investment. [Read more at Crain’s New York Business]

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