Medical Marijuana Feeds Hopes of Renewal around New York State

Medical Marijuana Feeds Hopes of Renewal around New York State

WALLKILL, N.Y. — Don Crawford comes from a long line of Orange County farmers. Though he no longer tends dairy cows, he still cuts hay for the thriving equestrian industry, and cringes at the creep of the suburbs.

So when a stranger came to town and announced plans to grow marijuana on the fallow land next to his, Mr. Crawford was thrilled.

“It’s better than a bunch of houses,” he said.

And it would be legal. The prospective farmer, Erik Holling, a former chief operating officer of a technology company, is vying to become one of five registered producers of medical marijuana — or medical cannabis, the term favored by those in the trade — permitted under a New York State lawcoming into effect.

The enthusiastic local reception that Mr. Holling’s company, Valley Agriceuticals, has received offers a case study in how the public perception of medical marijuana has changed, and how some communities have come to view it as a potential economic boon. Read Full Article.