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New York - Chassidim Take Their Place Among Other Medical Marijuana Vendor Hopefuls

Published on: June 23, 2015 10:26 AM
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File photo of Holocaust survivor Moshe Roth, 81, receiving medical marijuana by a nurse to smoke in his pipe.  EPA/ABIR SULTANFile photo of Holocaust survivor Moshe Roth, 81, receiving medical marijuana by a nurse to smoke in his pipe.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

‎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.

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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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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 23, 2015 at 10:30 AM Yoely Says:

Good for them let them make some gelt!

2

 Jun 23, 2015 at 10:43 AM Anonymous Says:

I suppose that there is no halachic issur. But I have a really hard time seeing this as a melocho nekiya.

3

 Jun 23, 2015 at 10:43 AM HOLYJEW Says:

whats the big deal ???? so two successful guys from Brooklyn are being business smart and moving quickly for the newsiest business adventures !

4

 Jun 23, 2015 at 10:48 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

For some reason, this sounds like a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Good luck to them.

5

 Jun 23, 2015 at 10:59 AM Robert Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I suppose that there is no halachic issur. But I have a really hard time seeing this as a melocho nekiya.

i guess "past nisht' no longer applies

6

 Jun 23, 2015 at 11:04 AM mr613 Says:

קטורת הסמים

7

 Jun 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM lavrenty Says:

at least these Hasidim want to EARN their money not mooch off others

8

 Jun 23, 2015 at 11:27 AM WakeUp2 Says:

Reply to #4  
PaulinSaudi Says:

For some reason, this sounds like a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Good luck to them.

Are you watching TV?!

10

 Jun 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

I never watch TV. I have not seen SNL in 20 years.

11

 Jun 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM FALLSBURGER Says:

Why doesn't the Jewish Week also give us the ethnic breakdown of the other 42 applicants?
I am extremely courious to know, are there any Itialians? Belgians? Sudanese? Koreans?
Out of 43 they only found out about 1 ??? C'mon Jewish Week, we expect better Journalism from you ! Or do we really expect??....

12

 Jun 23, 2015 at 01:38 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I suppose that there is no halachic issur. But I have a really hard time seeing this as a melocho nekiya.

If its a legal operation - producing for medicinal purposes (unlike other parts of country where it being produced & sold for recreational purposes), I see no reason why it would have any halachic problems.
They should have hatzlocho.

13

 Jun 23, 2015 at 02:31 PM commonsense99 Says:

actually there are two applicants who are frum

BETHEL, N.Y. -- Located just yards from the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival is a large area of farmland, but it could soon be turned into a medical marijuana facility, if the state health department approves it.
Sheva Health and Wellness is one of 43 companies applying for a medical marijuana license. They're hoping to be one of five companies awarded the license to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana throughout the state.
According to Sheva Health and Wellness, those dispensary locations will be Brooklyn, Yonkers, Rochester and the Watertown area.
“I believe that our application far exceeds the minimum standards of the RFP," said Joseph Levine, Sheva Health and Wellness founder

14

 Jun 23, 2015 at 02:37 PM yaakov doe Says:

Are they going to check it for bugs? Chassidish hashgacha?

15

 Jun 24, 2015 at 02:16 AM Anonymous Says:

Kosher drug dealing? There are better ways to make a living than this. Except, maybe not as much fun.

16

 Jun 24, 2015 at 01:46 PM Rafuel Says:

If they don't intend to sell that stuff to Jews, I have no problem with their business.

17

 Jun 26, 2015 at 05:10 PM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #16  
Rafuel Says:

If they don't intend to sell that stuff to Jews, I have no problem with their business.

What about your problem with posting flagrant lies on the Internet such as those phony 40 year 'surveys' that say that blacks are the group that hates Jews the most? Still no sources? What a surprise! Obviously someone such as you has absolutely no regard whatsoever for the איסור of מדבר שקר תרחק.

18

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