Rejected companies cry foul in N.Y. medical marijuana selection process

Rejected companies cry foul in N.Y. medical marijuana selection process

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COLONIE – As the number of medical marijuana companies in New York is poised to double to 10, a group of original applicants to the program brought their case against what they deemed an unfair selection system to the state Health Department on Wednesday. A hearing initially requested by 15 of the 43 applicants to the program got underway at Health Department offices at the Riverview Center in Menands. A handful of the petitioners have maintained their original claims against the process by which companies were chosen, said William J. Lynch, an administrative law judge for the department. The group filed its grievance with the department after an initial five companies were selected to participate, claiming that the Health Department failed to follow its own rules in selecting them. Participation was coveted, as the program, enacted in legislation in 2014, launched a brand-new industry with a statewide market of people newly eligible to try novel products. Among complaints aired at Wednesday’s hearing were that applicants who scored zeroes in certain categories on their applications were not always notified of that score and able to provide additional information. The Health Department’s application guidelines said that they would receive such notification. Who’s bidding for New York medical marijuana licenses? Health Department Attorney Mark Fleishcer said program staff did not reach out for additional information because the zero scores did not affect the ranking of top applicants. Yet Eric Lerner, an attorney representing failed applicant Compassionate Care Center of New York, said that neglecting to contact his client in at least one case resulted in another applicant, Citiva Medical, getting points that his company deserved. Lerner said that Citiva Medical received credit for securing a retail location that Compassionate Care Center had actually leased. Citiva Medical was not one of the original […]

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