Whole flower cannabis launches at Rochester dispensary for NY medical marijuana community

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester marijuana dispensary, Columbia Care, will become the first in New York Tuesday to offer whole flower cannabis product for the state’s medical marijuana community.

Columbia Care, one of the nation’s largest multi-state cannabis providers, announced Monday that it is the first licensed organization to offer “whole flower” to New York’s medical marijuana community. Whole flower refers to the bud of the plant, the part you can smoke.

Company officials say the whole flower product will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday at its local dispensary, located at 200 West Ridge Road in Eastman Business Park. Officials say the product will become available at its other dispensaries across the state beginning Wednesday.

“We are New York’s home team, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Columbia Care continues to be on the leading edge of the state’s cannabis program – from opening the first medical dispensary in New York State and New York City, to being the first to bring a critical, natural medicine in its most highly-demanded and cost-effective form, whole flower, to New Yorkers,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “This is a meaningful moment to us, and we are grateful to our team for their dedication to the New York market as well as to the state’s leadership and the Office of Cannabis Management for moving this program forward. This is the next step in the evolution of New York’s legal cannabis market, and we are committed to leading its continued forward progress.”

Company officials say in anticipation of the sales, Columbia Care expanded its indoor cultivation and production operation, adding that their facility in Rochester and upcoming harvest from its Long Island facility, will supply the Sour Kush strain of its branded flower product to its retail locations.

Columbia Care officials say the company intends to add an additional four medical dispensaries in new York, for a total of eight in the state. Rochester is the company’s only Upstate New York location currently, with the other three dispensaries based in Manhattan, Brookyln, and Riverhead.

Company officials add that some of their dispensaries will become co-located with adult-use for recreational retail, pending regulatory approval.

Recreational marijuana use in New York State was legalized for those 21 and older back in March. The state has yet to set up an official distribution method for cannabis sales, but penalties for possession of less than three ounces have been eliminated. The new Office of Cannabis Management is working to establish guidelines and issue licenses for commercial growth and sales.

New Yorkers will be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants per adult or 12 plants per household, beginning 18 months after the state’s first dispensary opens.

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