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Medical marijuana dispensary opening in Forest Hills

AM New York - 7/3/2018

July 03--Relief is on the way for medical marijuana patients in Queens.

Curaleaf New York is set to open a new dispensary in Forest Hills on July 10, broadening the availability of medical-grade cannabis in the borough for patients with cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and other qualifying conditions.

The new dispensary, located at 107-18 70th Rd., will be the sixth such operation to open in New York City and the second to launch in Queens, according to the New York State Medical Marijuana Program website. The first dispensary in the borough, run by Vireo New York, opened in nearby Elmhurst in 2016.

"Medical marijuana has already helped tens of thousands of New Yorkers and we are excited to welcome patients to our Forest Hills dispensary to access the treatment they need or learn more about medical marijuana and the state's program," said Michelle Bodner, president of PalliaTech NY, which operates the dispensary under the Curaleaf New York brand.

Centrally located between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street, the 3,000-square-foot dispensary will offer cannabis products in several forms, including tablets, oils, tinctures, capsules and under-the-tongue strips. It will be managed by a New York-licensed pharmacist and counselors will be on hand to help patients determine the best course of treatment based on their condition.

Prospective patients are urged to call 833-470-5323 to set up an appointment ahead of the dispensary's grand opening.

In order to purchase products from a medical marijuana dispensary, the Department of Health requires patients with qualifying conditions to obtain certification from a physician who participates in the state's program. Patients can then register online to receive a medical marijuana card, which needs to be presented at the dispensary.

As of June 26, there were 60,680 certified medical marijuana patients in the state, though it was unclear how many live in Queens. A request for data specific to the borough was not immediately returned by the state health department.

New York City's newest dispensary also comes amid renewed debate over legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in the state -- a proposal that some medical marijuana companies see as an opportunity to expand their presence in New York.

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