A Carle Place office building has been tapped to house Nassau County’s second medical marijuana dispensary — one of 20 that are being added around the state.
PalliaTech, based in Massachusetts, was authorized by the state medical marijuana program in August to open four dispensaries throughout the state. It has selected a 3,000-square-foot office on Glen Cove Road in Carle Place to house one of its locations, which has triggered community concerns about whether it belongs there.
Carle Place Civic Association board members at a Jan. 30 town meeting raised concerns over the dispensary’s potential arrival.
“I believe this dispensary would be better situated in an exclusively commercial district,” said Kristin Biggin.
PalliaTech submitted a building permit application with the town on Dec. 21. The town building department is reviewing the renderings of proposed interior alterations of the building, town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said. A public hearing is not required, because no zoning changes are necessary.
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said it’s not up to the town board to decide whether the dispensary can open at that location because the use is permitted by town zoning regulations.
“It’s not in the form of what you think of as someone going and getting marijuana,” Bosworth said, adding that the business would operate like a pharmacy.
The Lake Success dispensary opened in January 2016 and is operated by Los Angeles-based MedMen. PalliaTech officials said they hope the Carle Place dispensary will be open in the spring.
Kevin Ketterhagen, 37, a Carle Place Civic Association board member, said at the town meeting he was disappointed to hear about the dispensary’s plans from PalliaTech representatives instead of directly from town officials. The civic association met with PalliaTech president and chief executive Michelle Bodner on Jan. 22.
Bodner said in a Monday interview that the Carle Place building was chosen for its accessibility and proximity to both patients and the Northwell hospital system, the New Hyde Park-based health care network. An existing dispensary in the town was not “relevant”, she added.
“We are a pharmacy, we are a wellness community, we are here for people who have cancer, epilepsy and MS [multiple sclerosis],” Bodner said. “And we are operating in the country’s most highly regulated market.”
As of Jan. 30, more than 43,000 patients were registered with the state program to receive medical marijuana, which requires a doctor’s certification for individuals with eligible serious illnesses.
Nineteen dispensaries currently operate in the state, according to the state Health Department website. Two new dispensaries are planned for Suffolk County, which would bring that county’s total to three. Nassau County will also be getting a third dispensary.
Providers that will open the third Nassau dispensary and the new dispensaries in Suffolk could not be reached for comment or information on locations.
NEW YORK STATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM
- Medical marijuana legalized under the Compassionate Care Act passed by State Legislature in June 2014
- Five registered providers each authorized to open four dispensaries
- The first dispensaries opened in January 2016 with one dispensary each in Nassau and Suffolk
- Five more providers were added in August 2017
- Patients must obtain a certification to register with the program, which covers eligible illnesses such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer
- Approved medical forms of marijuana include liquids, oils, and capsules. Smoking and consuming edibles are not legal.
- Patients can only obtain a 30-day supply of medical marijuana
- Prices for products vary among dispensaries