Merits or Connections? The Insider’s Guide to Obtain a Medical Marijuana License in New York

New York’s medical marijuana program, approved and signed into law in July of 2014, is about to take off, with five out of some 43 applicants about to receive a licence any day now.

The competing companies who have applied for state Health Department licenses were left in the dark during the process, and New Yorkers have very few clues as to who will grow the herb, process it and sell it in a legal/non-smokable form.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was never an overly-enthusiastic proponent of medical marijuana, imposed strict rules and heavy oversight of operations before signing the bill into law.

However, once the bids were sent off, the governor has privately used his negotiating skills and political maneuvers to move bidders farther and closer to the pot and steer licenses for them that love him.

JP has followed the process over the past few months, although not reporting about it, due to the fact...

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