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Three Dozen Companies Competing For 5 New York Medical Marijuana Licenses

ALBANY — Nearly three dozen companies are expected to submit bids Friday for one of five available licenses to grow medical marijuana in New York.

After months of heated negotiations, the state Legislature passed a law in June 2014 legalizing non-smokable forms of marijuana to treat a limited number of medical conditions. Advocates have long said the law, considered one of the most restrictive among the 23 states that have legalized some form of the drug, is so narrow that it will likely be unworkable for the companies.

But that hasn’t stopped the dozens of bidders that have spent months attempting to secure one of the licenses: They’ve hired lobbyists to help navigate the maze of tax laws associated with selling a semi-legal substance, negotiated agreements with labor unions and launched campaigns to win support for their proposed facilities in the communities where they hope to grow the drug.

Novice growers hoping to use New York as a way to gain experience in the medical marijuana field are unlikely to succeed. The state’s strict regulations favor more established players—those with the kind of capital and experience necessary to quickly grow marijuana. [Read more at Capital New York]

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