Inside The Botanist Queens, a medical marijuana dispensary that opened...

Inside The Botanist Queens, a medical marijuana dispensary that opened in February. The company will open an East Farmingdale location at the end of March. Credit: The Botanist

A medical marijuana dispensary expects to open at the end of March on Broadhollow Road in East Farmingdale. 

The business will open without Babylon Town amending its code, which town officials initially believed necessary to ensure it could operate under zoning use regulations. 

When Acreage Holdings presented its plans to town officials in January, Supervisor Rich Schaffer and other town officials believed the section of town code that limited vape shops and hookah bars to industrial areas applied to medical marijuana shops.

The town board held two public hearings on Feb. 13 to consider amending the code, but spokesman Kevin Bonner said upon further review, the code changes weren’t necessary in this case, and the town issued the company a building permit.

The dispensary, which will be called The Botanist, plans to open in March, according to an Acreage Holdings spokeswoman, in an existing building at 2365 Broadhollow Rd. that needs interior modifications.

It would be only the second such dispensary in Suffolk County, with the other located on Main Street in Riverhead run by Columbia Care. A third location is “coming soon” to an unspecified location, according to the state Department of Health.

Acreage Holdings is one of 10 companies with operating licenses from the state Department of Health to grow the marijuana plant and each run four dispensaries throughout the state.

Exterior shots of a medical marijuana dispensary being built in...

Exterior shots of a medical marijuana dispensary being built in Farmingdale on March 6. Credit: Michael Owens

The dispensaries sell the product in non-smokable form to New Yorkers with qualifying conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, PTSD, chronic pain and to treat opioid use.

Patients must first be evaluated by a medical marijuana-trained doctor and referred for the drug, then obtain a state Department of Health ID card.

As of March 6, there are 92,937 certified patients in the state and 2,233 registered practitioners, according to the state Department of Health.

In 2016, the state gave licenses to five companies with permission to sell medical marijuana at four dispensaries each, for a total of 20 statewide. Since then, the state has expanded its program to allow an additional 20 dispensaries. 

Acreage Holdings opened another dispensary under the same name at 138-72 Queens Blvd. in Jamaica on Feb. 20.

Currently there are two dispensaries in Nassau County, one on Glen Cove Road in Carle Place and one on Marcus Avenue in Lake Success, and the Department of Health lists a third as coming soon to Nassau, although no town is listed.

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