I congratulate the five organizations selected to open medical marijuana dispensaries in New York and am encouraged that two of the winners have stated their intention to open dispensaries in Manhattan.
I urge both of the winning companies, Bloomfield Industries, Inc. and Columbia Care NY LLC, to locate at least one dispensary in Northern Manhattan. Thousands of chronically ill patients here deserve access to this important new medical option, but many will be unable to travel long distances to a dispensary.
The need for accessibility is even stronger among the communities of color which I represent, where rates of diseases like HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s are higher than in the general population.
New York’s Compassionate Care Act, while undoubtedly a major step forward, is still far too small and restrictive. This fact, combined with the absence of any insurance coverage in New York for this important new therapy, will mean that low-income New Yorkers will face significant barriers to obtaining the benefits of medical marijuana. Let’s not compound this injustice by siting both of the Manhattan dispensaries in Midtown or Lower Manhattan, far from some of the communities that have the potential to most benefit from these treatments.
Find more information at Council Member Mark Levine, 500 W 141st St, New York, NY 10031.