Bloomfield Industries, one of five companies in New York with a medical marijuana license, is now seeking new ownership due to financial trouble, a spokesperson with the New York State Department of Health confirmed on Thursday.
"Bloomfield Industries has made us aware of its recent financial constraints, and we are monitoring the situation closely," a spokesperson said in a statement. "DOH has received and is reviewing Bloomfield's request to have new owners take control of the company."
Although the company located its headquarters downstate, it operates a medical marijuana dispensary on South Union Road in Williamsville, one of two dispensaries in the Western New York region. Richard Yost, the founder of Bloomfield Industries, did not return a voicemail left on his cell phone Thursday evening.
2 On Your Side previously reported in late June that Bloomfield had begun operating three days a week and cut its hours in half due to a lack of patients.
A total of 43 companies applied for the five medical marijuana licenses in a competitive contest in New York, and the state is relying heavily on its five chosen companies to operate the new medical marijuana program effectively. Since the program launched in January, registration has been somewhat slow, with some patients reporting difficulty in navigating through the certification process. In late June, the Department of Health reported that fewer than 5,000 patients had become certified.
But the number of registered patients has now jumped to more than 7,600, the department said Thursday, a 57-percent increase from three months ago. The program has also added more than 100 physicians since late June-- there are now more than 700 certified to prescribe medical marijuana in New York.
On Thursday evening, a coalition of organizations held a town hall meeting at CHC Learning Center on Eggert Road in Buffalo, as part of a series of events to help inform the public about the program and the registration process. One of the speakers was Daniel Ryszka, who has two children who suffer from seizures. His nine-year-old son joined the medical marijuana program in April, and his 15-year-old daughter started in March.
Ryszka admits the state's rollout of the program this year hasn't been flawless-- but he's working to ensure patients can connect with the program.
"I think initially, it was tough, there was a lot of confusion," Ryszka said, "but I think the state is getting it right. They're starting to get on board, and it's something that will always evolve, but I think they're on the right path."