New York - Chassidim Take Their Place Among Other Medical Marijuana Vendor Hopefuls
New York - Two Chassidim are among the 43 applicants for the New York State Department of Health’s five licenses to manufacture and dispense legal medical marijuana in the State, The Jewish Week reports (http://bit.ly/1CqFv0i ).
Called The NY Growing Partners, LLC, the company’s principals include Michael Melnicke, a Ger chasid and nursing home entrepreneur, and Satmar chasid Leo Friedman, son of Moses Friedman, also known as Moshe Gabbai. Melnicke and Friedman have teamed up with Alexander Solovey and Pat (Pasquale) DeBenedictis for this venture, both of whom own several nursing home enterprises.
According to its application, NY Growing Partners, LLC intends on using a 12-acre, “shovel-ready” land located in upstate Saugerties, 90 miles from New York City. The expression “shovel ready” means that the initial impact studies have been fulfilled, which allows for a faster approval process.
It costs $10,000 to apply for consideration as a medical marijuana manufacturer, and $200,000 for the registration fee, which will be returned to applicants whose submissions are denied. In addition to the fees, criteria for a license includes “the ability to manufacture medical grade marijuana in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of certified patients and being in possession of or having secured the right to use property, buildings, and equipment to carry out production operations, or failing that, posting a $2 million bond.”
NY Growing Partners has yet to submit an official proposal or site plan, and has said it will only do so if it receives one of the five available licenses. If it does, the company plans to work with the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency to get quick approval from the local town planning boards.
The odds of receiving a license may be in Melnicke’s and Friedman’s favor, having contributed a total of $13,000 to Governor Cuomo’s campaign and over $30,000 to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s coffers. Thus far, NY Growing Partners has revealed little about itself compared to the other 42 applicants for licenses who have established websites, issued press releases, and given media interviews. But the company has retained Long Island-based PR firm Zimmerman/Edelson, which has close ties to Governor Cuomo.
Neither Zimmerman/Edelson, nor NY Growing Partners, responded to requests for comment for the article.
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