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Medical marijuana companies push for Ithaca dispensary

Last July, New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassion Care Act, allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana in a non-smokable form to patients with health ailments recognized by the state.

Twenty medical marijuana dispensaries are now expected to open across New York by next year, and companies are looking to Ithaca to capitalize on the market.

AP Images/Atomazul
AP Images/Atomazul

Who’s interested?

Ithaca College alumnus Evan Nison. He’s the director of the East Coast Cannabis Division of Terra Tech. Terra Tech is the first U.S. company on the stock market to produce and sell marijuana, and has already raised over $6.8 million. Nison wants to make sure Ithaca is serviced by this industry.

Why?

“I think Ithacans are really open-minded and eager for holistic alternatives that are safer than current medications,” Nison said.

New York State is giving out licenses to five companies, and each company can have four dispensaries. According to Nison, Terra Tech is looking at possible locations in Ithaca for dispensaries.

What does this mean for Ithaca?

While some people are onboard with the idea, many worry about the potential for abuse. Others say legalizing medical marijuana can lead to widespread legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Others believe that only 20 dispensaries for the state will not be enough. Regardless, Nison hopes to put medical marijuana in the hands of patients beginning in 2016.

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