By Rich Forestano
Lake Success is being targeted for Nassau County’s lone medicinal mari-juana dispensary by a Staten Island–based company, New York State Department of Health records reveal. Records show Bloomfield Industries Inc. plans to open the 3,238-square foot Lake Success Patient Resource Center at 2001 Marcus Ave. in Lake Success, a stone’s throw from Clinton G. Martin Park.
Bloomfield is one of five groups the state approved in July to manufacture the drug under the New York State Medical Marijuana program. The center would run Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to documents. The company’s website says the facility
will be operational by December.
Bloomfield has not publicly announced the proposal. They did not return calls for comment on this story.
“It’s pretty dense there,” North Lakeville Estates Civic Association Betty Leong said. “And New Hyde Park Road is a main artery right now. That’ll become clogged. I’m not against them having a dispensary, but we’d like the location to be somewhere else.”
The company’s website says they “will ensure a compassionate patient experience, while protecting public health and safety in the communities served…each [center] will adopt a holistic approach to educate, support and provide relevant resources for patients in a secure and discreet environment.” The website also said the site would house 25 employees.
Town of North Hempstead officials confirmed they’re conversing with Bloomfield reps and that the current plan is not permitted by its zoning laws. Numerous residents argued for and against the center’s opening at a town board meeting on Sept. 29.
“I share the concerns our residents have voiced about the proposed location of a medical marijuana dispensary [on Marcus Avenue],” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement. “I learned about it through the same reports through which our residents may have heard. There has been no application to the Town of North Hempstead to allow this dispensary to open and they have not sought the town’s approval.”
Bloomfield also applied to open dispensaries in Manhattan, Syracuse and Williamsville, and a main manufacturing center on Borden Avenue in Long Island City, the documents say.
“I urge the company that will provide patients with medical marijuana to identify a new location that is in compliance with zoning laws and to consider a location more central in the county that is more convenient for patients and their caregivers,” Bosworth said. “It seems odd that a facility intended to serve severely ill residents from all over Nassau would be located on the westernmost area of the county, adjacent to Queens.”
Those close to the issue don’t argue the health benefits of medicinal cannabis with proper regulation, including Bosworth and local community members. Richard Carlton, a Port Washington psychiatrist, contends the drug’s helpfulness in “alleviating cancer pain from nausea and vomiting in chemo [therapy]. In Parkinson’s patients, it takes away the tremors. It’s a remarkable drug.
“In Colorado, you see these jars of buds,” Carlton said. “[In New York] it’s either in capsule form that can be inserted into a vape pen or oils and forms of edibles. Some of the preparations will have THC and some will have CBD, a component of the plant that helps the conditions.”
Carlton has helped epilepsy patients obtain medical cannabis in New Jersey, which has a dispensary.
“To obtain it, epilepsy patients have to be evaluated by a psychiatrist,” he said. “I started seeing patients from New Jersey at my Manhattan office. When they get on the cannabis, seizures stop.”
Carlton treated a 14-year-old New Jersey girl, who dealt with 50 to 100 seizures per day, brain surgery and multiple medications before being prescribed medical marijuana. She now manages one episode every eight days.
“She was down to one seizure within two months,” Carlton said. “Before using the cannabis, she was depressed and couldn’t function. Now, she’s bright-eyed, smiling and gets to blow-dry her hair just like every young 14-year-old girl should be.”
Multiple sclerosis, cancer, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neurop-athy and Huntington’s disease are some of the many illnesses eligible for the drug under state law, according to the health department.
“[Medical marijuana] can keep people away and off opiates” Carlton stated. “There’s been double-blind studies showing that. People are worried it’s a gateway drug. It’s the opposite.”
The state health department began accepting registration applications on April 27. Each applicant was required to submit a nonrefundable $10,000 application fee and a $200,000 registration fee. The registration fee would be refunded if the applicant is not issued a registration, according to the state department website.
“Why don’t they put it in a pharmacy where it can be regulated rather than a private company?” Lakeville Estates Civic Association President Bill Cutrone said. “Who’s going to monitor it? And good luck getting [Bloomfield] on the phone. The dispensary is not the problem, it’s the space that has been chosen.”
Prospective companies had until June 5 to apply.
“The concerns that people have that stoners are going to go in there and get stuff and walk around smoking, it’s not going to happen,” Carlton said.