Winners of New York’s five medical marijuana licenses could emerge any day now. The state Department of Health says it will announce the picks in mid-July. One bidder, Salus Scientific, aims to start growing in Johnson City.
If the company wins a license, it will have to get right down to business. Co-founder Michael Falcone says he plans to refurbish a former grocery warehouse in the city to use for cultivation. The drug would need to be ready for sale by January, according to state rules.
Falcone says his project would focus on local labor and bring Johnson City much-needed jobs. “We’d have growers and cultivators, and that’s a skill that can be easily trainable and learned,” he says.
The whole plan is far from a sure thing, though. Only five out of 43 applicants will get a license. The winners face strict limits, too. Each license covers four dispensaries, for a total of 20 statewide, and the state only approved ten diseases for treatment with medical marijuana.
Falcone says he’s on board with all the regulation. “Our feeling is because it’s so restrictive, it’s really going to be the most medically and science-driven model in the country,” he says.
Falcone aims to partner with Binghamton University’s new pharmacy school for research. The school plans to locate in Johnson City and admit its first class in August 2017.