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Long IslandPolitics

Bruce Blakeman has interest in medical marijuana firm

Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, is

Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, is shown on June 19, 2015. Photo Credit: James Escher

One of four companies granted state licenses last week to operate medical marijuana dispensaries on Long Island has a notable investor: Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman.

Blakeman, a Republican who has served on the town board since 2015, is a shareholder in PalliaTech, a Massachusetts-based biotech firm that plans to open a dispensary in Nassau, as well as in Orange and Queens counties.

The company has yet to reveal where in Nassau it wants to operate, but Blakeman said he will not take part in any siting decisions.

If the company does seek a location in Hempstead, Blakeman said he would not participate in the town approval process.

“If there is any issue before the Hempstead Town Board, I would certainly recuse myself,” he said.

Blakeman, an attorney and former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, reported PalliaTech assets worth between $50,000 and $100,000 while running for Congress in 2014, according to his financial disclosure.

He said he still owns “a small minority interest” in the company.

Nassau has one licensed medical marijuana facility, operated by MedMen in New Hyde Park. PalliaTech and Manhattan-based Fiorello Pharmaceuticals received the state licenses last week to open the new dispensaries in the county. Suffolk also will get two new dispensaries.

Paul LaRocco

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