Medical marijuana dispensary set to open Thursday

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, one of the 20 medical marijuana dispensaries that have been given the blessing of the governor to do business in New York State will open its doors in the East Village.

The company running this location, Columbia Care, announced that it was moving to 212 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues, last August.

As of Tuesday, there were still some details to be worked out — like what the medical pot will cost — but CEO Nicholas Vita said this will be decided by the time the venue, called Columbia Care NY, will open. Additionally, there will be some subsidies available for patients.

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Welcome, Columbia Care

Earlier this month came the big news that five companies were awarded licenses to operate a total of 20 medical marijuana dispensaries to the state.

One, as Town & Village previously reported, will be heading to 212 East 14th Street. This is good news for a number of reasons.

First, the market is opening to an alternative medicine in a city dominated by chain pharmacies hawking pricey prescriptions.

To be fair we don’t know yet what the medical pot will cost — and also it’s pretty tough to qualify to be eligible to purchase it. Still, any new business in the neighborhood that contributes to its identity as an area thick with medical institutions is always welcome. As are the jobs it creates.

And perhaps even more importantly, it isn’t a chain pharmacy, bank or a 7-Eleven.

Medical marijuana coming to 14th Street

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, the state Department of Health made the landmark announcement that five companies had been selected to grow and sell marijuana in the state and city for medical use, and each open four dispensaries. Of the 20 to open, five will be in three of the boroughs (two in Manhattan, two in Queens and one in the Bronx), with the busiest one expected to be located in Manhattan on East 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues.

There will be one other Manhattan dispensary, which will be run by a company called Bloomfield, Inc. A rep for Bloomfield said a location for the Manhattan dispensary has not yet been decided.

Peter Kerr, a spokesperson for the company that’s opening the 14th Street center, called Columbia Care, said it will open at 212 East 14th Street in January of next year. The dispensary, he said, will have an atmosphere like “a very nice pharmacy” and be spacious with “a few thousand” square feet.

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