Giving an impromptu presentation during public comment, a New York-based medical marijuana business pleaded their case to come to Hoboken during last night’s city council meeting.
“I wanted to explain a little bit about Etain [Health], we are family owned, we’re women owned and New York state is known for having the most restrictive [marijuana] regulations in the country,” began Etain Health Chief Operations Officer Hillary Peckham.
“They really set a precedent for how to operate in a way that not only brings the public safety, but the consumer safety. All of our products are regulated to pharmaceutical standards, with third party testing and validation.”
Peckham continued that Etain does not use pesticides on their products, most of which “are very pharmaceutically oriented.”
During her presentation, she also said that the company has been operating and licensed in New York for two years and that the company began in light of her grandmother seeking relief from symptoms associated with ALS.
3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, a physical therapist by trade, said he was in favor of bringing legitimate marijuana business to Hoboken, but questioned what role the council would play in such an endeavor.
“Are there any restrictions that we as a council would need to consider because this is a new industry and we would want to make sure that we’re doing everything that we have to do from a legislative standpoint.”
Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia said that the council would need to consider zoning laws surrounding marijuana legalization and distribution, which the council would have more information on prior to their September meeting.
Back in March, the neighboring Township of Weehawken, through their zoning board, banned the commercial sale, growth, distribution and use of marijuana in retail/commercial establishments.
Furthermore, responding to questions from 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham, Peckham revealed that Etain currently has 55 employees in New York and the business, which meets women business enterprise requirements, and is expanding to California.
1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco questioned if a New York medical marijuana license allows a business owner four or five dispensaries, in addition to a growing facility, which Peckham confirmed was the case.
“So, for clarity’s sake: you have the growing facility, where you’re actually growing the cannabis, and then transporting it to your various locations and selling it under licensed [facilities]?,” DeFusco asked.
“Correct, and everything is tracked from scene to sale. All of that is reported back to the New York State Department of Health, so every aspect of the business is completely transparent and regulated,” Peckham said.
According to their website, Etain’s dispensaries are currently located in Kingston, New York City, Syracuse and Yonkers.
The council took no formal action on the matter at the meeting.