Out of 43 applicants, there were five winners in New York's medical marijuana sweepstakes, announced July 31. Many of the state's 20 licensed stores (four per each licensee) are expected to open this month.
The five winners were:
• Vireo Health New York LLC (formerly Empire State Health Solutions)
Each licensee can have one manufacturing facility. They will be located in Queens (Bloomfield), Rochester (Columbia Care), Johnston (Empire State), Chester (Etain) and Hamptonburgh (PharmaCanna).
Retail stores will be placed in New York City (four), Albany-area (three), Syracuse-area (three), Westchester County (two), Long Island (two) Erie County (two), Plattsburg (one), and one each in the following counties: Broome, Monroe and Ulster.
Minneapolis-based Vireo Health partnered with Empire State Health Solutions to form Vireo Health New York. Ari Hoffnung is CEO. Their 30,000 square foot greenhouse facility is located at Tryon Technolgy Park in Peth (near Johnston), the site of a former juvenile detention center. They plan to open stores at 217-219 E. Post Rd. in White Plains (Westchester County) OPENED and 110 Wolf Rd. in Colonie (Albany County), and in Queens (89-55 Queens Blvd.) and Broome Counties. Hornung made headlines in December when he said their cannabis would be kosher-certified.
PharmaCanna (a.k.a PharmaCannis) is from Illinois, where they have licenses for four dispensaries. They'll open stores at 10 Executive Park Drive in Guilderland (Albany County), and in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx (1280 Oak Point Ave.), Syracuse and Buffalo.
Columbia Care also has licenses for stores in Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts. In New York, they'll have locations in Manhattan (212 E. 14 St.) OPENED, Rochester, Riverhead (Suffolk County) and Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Their 200,000 square foot grow facility is located in Eastman Business Park, the same place where Kodak once manufactured its products.
Bloomfield Industries promises stores at 345 E. 37 St. in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan, Syracuse, and in Nassau and Erie Counties. Their grow facility will be located on Borden Ave. in the Long Island City section of Queens.
The least likely winner has to be Etain, a Katonah-based company run by two sisters and a mother (Hillary, Keeley and Amy Peckham). Amy's married to John, who runs the family's construction business, Peckham Industries in White Plains. According to the Times-Union, Peckham Industies has since 2010 made contributions amounting to $12,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's political campaigns. Their stores will be located on Neppherhan Ave. in Yonkers (Westchester County), at 402 N. Peral St. in Albany, as well as in Kingston (Ulster County) and Syracuse. The Kingston store (actually in the town of Ulster) is located at 445 State Rte. 28 in a building formerly owned by Peckham Industries OPENED.
Each applicant was graded on a scale of one to 100. The winners all scored above 90%. Josh Stanley's Civita and Ross John Enterprises were among the losers.