NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Suffolk County's first and only medical marijuana dispensary opened on Friday in the Town of Riverhead, this, less than two years after New York State approved the Compassionate Care Act. Patients who suffer from cancer, HIV, ALS, or epilepsy now have an alternative to powerful drugs.
Columbia Care is the company operating the dispensary. CEO Nicholas Vita told Fox 5 that patients with a state-issued identification card can pick up marijuana from this East Main Street location in one of three forms: liquid (for under the patient's tongue), vaporized concentrate, or capsule.
Columbia Care originally wanted the dispensary to be on Route 58 in Riverhead. Councilman John Dunleavy says while the town supported the idea all along, this location is better.
Paul Dargan is battling stage-3 colon cancer. His doctor's office is right next door to the dispensary.
But not everyone is in favor of it. Recovering addict Bobby Hartmann Jr. owns eight recovery homes in the town. "It's going to become widely acceptable as not being harmful by our youth," he said.
Doctors must be qualified by New York to provide the recommendation to patients. Patients then have to register with the state. Once they are approved, they can come here to access the products by appointment only.