State green-lights LI med-marijuana dispensaries

Prescription strength: New York State has licensed five new medical marijuana companies to open dispensaries, including as many as four on Long Island.

New medical marijuana dispensaries are coming to Long Island.

The New York State Department of Health on Tuesday announced that it has authorized five “registered organizations” – permitted by state statute to manufacture medical marijuana and manage up to four dispensaries each – to operate new dispensaries across the state.

Several companies on the list plan to operate in Nassau and Suffolk counties, with as many as four new dispensaries about to crop up on the Island.

New York City-based medical-marijuana enterprise Fiorello Pharmaceuticals will manufacture in Schenectady County and have dispensing facilities in the city and in Monroe, Saratoga and Nassau Counties, according to the Department of Health.

Syracuse-based New York Canna (dba Terradiol New York) will manufacture in Onondaga County and operate dispensaries in Erie, Orange, Queens and Suffolk counties. Also coming to Suffolk is Westchester County-based Valley Agricueticals, which will grow its wares in Orange County and dispense in Long Island and Brooklyn, as well as Oneida and Dutchess counties, according to the health department.

And Ulster County-based PalliaTech NY, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based biotech PalliaTech, will dispense in Nassau and Queens, as well as Orange and Clinton counties.

The fifth new registered organization, NYC-based cannabis oil specialist Citiva Medical, will steer clear of Long Island, manufacturing in Orange County and operating dispensing facilities in Dutchess, Chemung, Kings and Richmond counties.

As of Tuesday, there were 25,736 certified patients and 1,139 registered practitioners participating in New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, according to the Department of Health. The additional registered organizations announced Tuesday double the state’s total of registered medical cannabis providers to 10.

Since late March, when the state added “chronic pain” to the list of qualifying conditions, the number of certified patients participating in the program has increased by 72 percent, the health department reported.

New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said the five new registered organizations represent a carefully measured expansion of the state’s medical marijuana industry.

“The New York State Department of Health is committed to growing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program responsibly,” Zucker said Tuesday. “The addition of these registered organizations will make it easier for patients across the state to obtain medical marijuana, improve the affordability of medical marijuana products through the introduction of new competition, and increase the variety of medical marijuana products available to patients.”