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$210,000 to apply for medical marijuana license

New York State businesses will have until May

New York State businesses will have until May 29, 2015 to apply for licenses to be suppliers of medical marijuana; the state hopes to award licenses by July 2015. Credit: AP / David Zalubowski

ALBANY - It will cost $210,000 for would-be suppliers of medical marijuana to apply for a New York State license, according to regulations released Monday that opened the application process. Only five suppliers will be selected.

Businesses will have until May 29 to apply; the state hopes to award licenses by July 2015. Companies not awarded a license will get all but $10,000 of registration fee back.

“We have laid out an ambitious timeline in getting the program up and running and we are meeting our goals,” Dr. Howard Zucker, the state’s acting health commissioner said in a statement. “Once the applications are in, we can begin our review and move to the next step of selecting the registered organizations this summer.”

Once an opponent of medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law last July that made New York the 23rd state to approve the drug for medicinal purposes. Rank-and-file Democrats in the Legislature were the driving force behind the new law.

Five manufacturers will be licensed. Each could run up to four dispensaries -- meaning there would be 20 dispensaries around the state. Geographic balance is supposed to be a consideration in the location of dispensaries. The state would apply a 7 percent excise tax on manufacturers. All product would have to be grown within state borders to not run afoul of federal anti-marijuana laws. 

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