New York state is about to get a whole lot greener as a new cannabis cultivation facility is breaking ground today in Orange County to service four statewide medical marijuana facilities, including two planned for Brooklyn and Staten Island.
iAnthus Capital and its subsidiary Citiva are building a 40,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility in Warwick, about 90 minutes from New York City. iAnthus Capital is one of 10 vertically integrated medical marijuana licenses in the state and is also licensed and/or operating in Massachusetts, Florida and Vermont.
“We are investing upwards of $10 million into this facility, not just to make it automated, but to make sure we get the highest quality product,” Carlos Perea, chief operating officer of iAnthus, told Metro. “There is a very specific expectation, and the bar is very, very high in New York, and we’re excited about being here.”
The Warwick facility, which is expected to open phase one in about 12 months, will create several dozen mostly technical jobs when it’s operating at full capacity. Lighting, humidification and environmental needs for the more than 5,000 marijuana plants expected to grow there will be fully automated.
“In production, we think about 2,400 or so kg of dried plant material,” Perea said. “We think it’ll be about enough to feed one of the dispensaries once it’s up and running.”
Brooklyn’s medical marijuana facility is in sight
Until the grow facility is fully operational, iAnthus and Citiva will buy wholesale products for its forthcoming medical marijuana dispensaries. The flagship will be in Brooklyn in the vicinity of the Barclays Center, which is “pretty far along,” Perea said, and is expected to open later this year.
Three more dispensaries will follow by mid-2019 in Staten Island and in Dutchess and Chemung Counties. Locations for those are not disclosed, but will be where there is a high patient and traffic count, whether on foot, vehicular or mass transit.
“We’re willing to spend a little more money on location and building out rather than getting them out cheap and dirty,” Perea explained. “We hope that translates to a much better experience, very inviting and a place where patients can feel comfortable and feel they’re getting great information.”
As of July 24, New York state has 64,506 certified medical marijuana patients. As of Aug. 1, 2017, there were 25,736.