Exclusive: Inside medical marijuana facility set to open in Long Island City

Kristin Thorne Image
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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Kristin Thorne takes an exclusive look at the only company licensed to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana in New York City.

LONG ISLAND CITY (WABC) -- Eyewitness News got an exclusive look at the only company licensed to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana in New York City, and the way the drug will be administered may be different than what you'd expect.

When you think of medical marijuana, you think of green, leafy plants, but that is not what will be sold in New York. Instead, it will be sold primarily in pill form.

The marijuana in our area will be grown, manufactured and packaged at a building in Long Island City.

Colette Bellefleur is the Chief Operating Officer for Bloomfield Industries, the only company licensed to manufacture in our area (there is one other distributor), and she says she's honored to help make the program to distribute medical marijuana a reality.

Bloomfield Industries is not yet releasing the exact locations of the dispensaries where authorized patients will be able to buy the cannabis, but they revealed there will be one in Manhattan, one in Nassau County and two upstate.

Bellefleur says the 230,000-square foot facility will have an entire unit dedicated to research and production, and the company will employ about 100 people. It is expected to be up and running within the next six months.

The company expects it will be doing a lot of community outreach, under the direction of Julie Prom.

"The first step will be to get out into the communities," she said. "To educate leaders that we are coming to the community and how they can help us help patients."

Bloomfield is partnering with EPIC Long Island, which helps people who suffer from epilepsy, to raise awareness about the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating seizures.

The state has approved 10 illnesses for which people can seek the treatment including epilepsy, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

EPIC Long Island will host a workshop on medical marijuana, epilepsy and New York state law on Thursday August 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at their office, located at 1500 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow.

Attendees will hear from Scott Stevens, the Director of Advanced Clinical Experience in Neurology, and Julie Netherland, the Deputy State Director of the New York Drug Policy Alliance.

To reserve your seat, email jdunn@epicli.org or call 516-739-7733 x 1150. Training hours are available for Medicaid service coordinators.