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This year has already gotten off to a great start: Manhattan has just opened up its first medical marijuana dispensary.

Named Columbia Care, the storefront is located in Union Square and run by former Goldman Sachs investment banker Nicholas Vita. There are no actual plants or edibles on-site; the marijuana is grown Rochester, as the law requires all cannabis to be cultivated in-state.

CNBC reports: Smoking the product is restricted in New York state, as is consuming via edibles. Instead, approved uses of cannabis include liquid and oil preparations for consumption orally or through a tube as well as capsules, according to the department.

The concentrates and oils made for vaporizers will only be available for patients with extreme ailments such as HIV, cancer, and ALS.

The dispensary’s opening comes just as New York looks to enact some of the country’s stricter marijuana laws. However, Vita is content knowing he’ll be helping people who previously weren’t getting proper care.

We will be providing products and services to a chronically ill patient that hasn’t had a great deal of success relying on the standard of care. Part of our mandate is to provide the highest-quality products, services and information so patients can make the right decisions with their physicians,” he told CNBC.

More NYC-area dispensaries are slated to open in the Bronx and Queens, but for casual weed smokers, it looks like Colorado is still your best bet.


New York City’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Is Finally Open  was originally published on