Companies preparing to grow, sell medical marijuana in New York – Staten Island Advance –

“We are here for patients. This is a safe medicine that patients should have access to,” said Evan Nison of Terra Tech.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — While the rollout of New York’s medical marijuana program is at least 15 months away and it doesn’t look like the state will get a federal waiver to get the drug sooner for ailing children, cannabis growers are preparing to be part of what could be a very lucrative business here.

The parameters of the state’s medical marijuana program are known to the public, but the particulars — like where the greenhouses and dispensaries will be located and exactly how a company will be vetted — are unknown.

The following is known: The drug will be administered as a pill or oil; it can only be prescribed by physicians registered with the state; patients must have one of about a dozen serious conditions on the state’s list, and must be given a state Department of Health ID card. Organizations that grow and distribute the drug must register with the state, and patients will be given no more than a 30-day supply at a time.

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) sponsored the bill that passed in the state legislature, and hopes the additional regulations will be known soon.

The state Department of Health has not heard back from the federal Department of Justice, which state officials asked for a federal waiver to buy the drug from other states that legalized marijuana. The strain, “Charlotte’s Web,” would be for children suffering from epileptic and seizure disorders.

“We still have the stumbling block of the federal government saying there’s no legitimate use of marijuana,” Ms. Savino said.

In the meantime, companies are getting their ducks in a row, hoping to get into the industry.

Terra Tech, a California-based publicly traded agricultural company looking …read more