BY JON CRONIN
A medical marijuana dispensary with two other locations in New York State will open a store in Forest Hills between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard.
The dispensary will open early this summer at 107-18 70th Road, right in the epicenter of the Forest Hills shopping district on a street commonly known as Restaurant Row.
“After successful openings in Newburgh and Plattsburgh, we are thrilled to continue the expansion of New York’s medical marijuana program with our new dispensary in Queens,” said Michelle Bodner, the president of PalliaTech NY, which operates the dispensaries under the brand name Curaleaf New York.
The Curaleaf New York facility is only the second dispensary to be opened in Queens. The first debuted in 2016 in Elmhurst near the Queens Center Mall.
In an email to the Queens Tribune, Lanett M. Austin, the HR manager for Curaleaf New York, said there is a tentative soft opening on June 29, but the grand opening has yet to be decided.
A statement by Curaleaf noted that the dispensary will be in a 3,000-square-foot space and was selected for its “major retail destination” and proximity to the Long Island Rail Road and local subways.
“Our focus is on ensuring patients facing serious medical issues have access to these important treatments, and we look forward to opening our doors and helping those in need,” Bodner said.
Curaleaf noted that its patients may “suffer from chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, cancer and other conditions permitted under the New York State Department of Health’s medical marijuana program.”
In a December 2017 press release from the state Department of Health, the new state medical marijuana program products are described as “ointments, lotions and patches; solid and semi-solid products, including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges; and certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material. All products are subject to rigorous testing, and the department reserves the right to exclude inappropriate products or those that pose a threat to public health.”
A New York-licensed pharmacist and counselors will be on site to advise patients. Curaleaf’s forms of medical marijuana will include capsules, tablets, tinctures, oils and under-the-tongue strips. Curaleaf noted that it is seeking approval to include ground flower, transdermal patches and other new products.
Curaleaf will open a fourth location in Carle Place on Long Island later in the summer. The company also has nine other locations in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Arizona.