Exclusive look inside Rochester’s medical marijuana factory

Exclusive look inside Rochester’s medical marijuana factory

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Take a look inside Columbia Care which is manufacturing medical marijuana in Rochester at Eastman Business Park. (May 14, 2018) Tina MacIntyre-Yee, @tyee23 Buy Photo The electronic latch released with a click and Corey Hewitt opened the door onto a searingly bright room filled wall to wall with rows of lush, green marijuana plants. “This is not Cheech and Chong’s garage, ” said Hewitt, who is in charge of the growing, manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana to patients for Columbia Care New York. This is the bloom room, where plants spend a couple of months producing robust buds that will be harvested and crushed to extract oil that is turned into medicine. Scientists with degrees in fields such as biology, botany, biomedical engineering, forestry, chemistry and packaging science oversee each step. Until now, seeing how they do it has been like trying to peer through the impenetrable brick of the building itself: The hulking Building 12 at Eastman Business Park that houses cultivation and manufacturing operations. Columbia Care is among 10 companies — and one of the original five — licensed by New York state to make and sell medical marijuana. Each company is allowed one manufacturing facility and four dispensaries. The company is licensed in 12 jurisdictions around the nation. Because THC, the psychotropic compound that gives the feeling of euphoria, is illegal at the federal level, the product can’t cross state lines. So the company has multiple manufacturing sites. The Columbia Care facility at Eastman Business Park makes all the products for its dispensary at Building 28 (Theater on the Ridge) and for its other dispensaries in Manhattan and Riverhead on Long Island, and the one it is opening in Brooklyn. Columbia Care had allowed media to see the dispensary when it opened, and I’d written […]

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