From Left to Right: Michael Alt, former director, Eastman Business Park, Vincent Esposito, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Senator Joseph Robach, Mike Abbott, Columbia Care, Nick Vita, Columbia Care, Nimbi Tomlinson, Senator Gellibrand's Office, Dave Seeley, Chief of Staff, Senator Morelli
On Thursday, January 28th – just a few hours after Columbia Care, LLC opened Rochester's first pharmaceutical dispensary for medical marijuana – the first patients began arriving at Eastman Business Park's Building 28 on West Ridge Road. Those appointments have officially set in motion New York's fledgling Compassionate Care Act, enabling patients to fill a prescription for medical marijuana in a liquid form to help alleviate some of the symptoms or side effects of treatment for a variety of conditions.
Upon first observation, the new dispensary neatly tucked into a section of the first floor, takes on all the appearances of a Fort Knox: locked doors, automated security systems, video monitors, frosted windows, and hefty guards standing by, pleasantly greeting visitors at the entrance. Once inside, visitors find a clean, pristine, welcoming environment similar to any medical waiting room. A few hours before, the place was bustling with activity.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony involving Rochester area and Columbia Care officials, Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita stated: "Rochester is the cornerstone for Columbia Care's long term success in New York. Our state-of-the-art cultivation and manufacturing facility located in the Eastman Kodak Business Park supports all of our dispensaries throughout New York State."
"We are honored to open our Rochester dispensary. We look forward to serving the patients of Upstate New York with compassionate, consistent and professional care, and continuing to be a contributing member of the Rochester community," Vita said.
“On behalf of Kodak, Eastman Business Park and all the stakeholders of the entire Finger Lakes Region, I'd like to welcome Columbia Care to our community of entrepreneurial, high growth companies who have chosen to leverage this great innovation and materials science manufacturing ecosystem," said Dolores Krutchen, Vice President of EBP.
Vita said Columbia Care's Rochester dispensary will provide patients with a variety of formulations, including initially offering tinctures to be taken under the tongue. Additional products will include concentrate for vaporization and orally ingested capsules, but not smoking and infused edible products because they are prohibited under New York's Compassionate Care Act.
All products in Columbia Care's New York dispensaries are cultivated at EBP in highly controlled micro-climates. Once the organic cultivation process is completed, targeted compounds are scientifically separated and formulated into the final product. All offerings undergo independent batch testing to assure the highest levels of consistency in every dose, Vita said.He said Columbia Care has hired Armor Security of Rochester to provide 24/7 security and protection services for its facilities at EBP, implemented by professionals with law enforcement backgrounds.