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New York Chooses 5 Companies To Grow, Dispense Medical Marijuana

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York state has selected five companies to operate the state's new medical marijuana program when it begins next year.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, each company will grow the pot in one location and then sell it at four other locations.

Dispensaries are planned for Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, along with Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, Haskell reported.

New York Chooses 5 Companies To Grow, Dispense Medical Marijuana

The organizations announced Friday include one led by a Minnesota physician, a business started by a woman who lost her mother to ALS as well as companies that operate dispensaries in at least six states.

Bloomfield Industries, one of the chosen companies, plans to cultivate its marijuana plants in Queens, Haskell reported.

State Sen. Diane Savino, who championed the Compassionate Care Act, said she was "thrilled" with the company selection by the state's Department of Health.

"We set a very aggressive timeline which was met by the agency. This illustrates New York State's dedication to serving all patients, delivering quality care and establishing business modes to achieve these goals," Savino said. "Congratulations to the companies which will serve patients across the state."

The senator also urged those companies that did not get selected to "stick around -- New York is a very big state."

Under the law passed last year, the state will have one of the country's strictest medical marijuana programs.

Patients with qualifying conditions like cancer, AIDS or epilepsy will be authorized to obtain only non-smokeable versions of the drug, including foods and vapors.

Forty-three organizations submitted applications to run the dispensaries.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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