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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Medical marijuana provider Iten hopes to transition to adult use

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When her grandmother was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and prescribed a range of side-effects-causing medications, Hilary Beckham and her family began researching medical marijuana for its homeopathic properties. During their research, residents of Westchester County were struck by the idea of ​​a family-owned business.

A few years later, Beckham, along with her mother and sister, founded Etain, one of the first five companies to receive a license to operate under New York’s medical marijuana program launched in 2015. Now, with the state slowly rolling out adult services . -Using marijuana guidelines, the company hopes to make a splash in the newly emerging recreational market before it’s too late.

“Our vision is to be able to bring the Etain brand into the adult use market and expand it so that we can be one of the key brands recognized and important to New York,” said Beckham, who managed the launch of Etain’s manufacturing. and dispensing operations across the state.

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The company operates retail medical marijuana dispensaries in Manhattan, Syracuse, Kingston, and Yonkers. Albany’s dispensary closed 2017 To establish a location in New York City pursuant to a state law that sets a limit of four dispensaries for each medical marijuana company.

For the past eight years, Etain has been recognized as the only women-owned medical marijuana provider in the state, a rating it lost with the recent $247 million acquisition of the company by Canadian investment firm RIV Capital. But even though Beckham’s mother, Amy Beckham, gave up her CEO position to take a position on the company’s board, Hilary Beckham emphasized that Etienne’s mission of promoting female leadership and consumerism in the industry remains the same.

As the new face of the brand, Beckham said she and her sister Kelly are focused on continuing to prioritize inclusivity and diversity within the company as they lead its transition into the recreational cannabis market, which was legalized in New York in March 2021.

“What you see a lot in the adult use industry is consumers looking for alternative treatments, whether it’s joint pain or a good night’s sleep. There are a lot of health and wellness reasons for cannabis use and I think that’s where the medical program fits in well,” said the Hamilton College graduate. “.

But while the new adult recreational use industry offers lucrative growth opportunities, it also presents challenges for companies like Etain that depend on participating in the state’s medical marijuana program to turn a profit. To purchase medical marijuana, consumers first need a patient certificate from a physician registered in the state’s program. Once they receive the recommendation, they can then apply for a state registration card. State-issued ID is free, but a visit to a doctor enrolled in the program can cost upwards of $100, depending on the provider.

At the start of 2022, The Daily Gazette mentioned There were 150,000 people enrolled in the programme. As of January 1, 2023, that number is down to 122,805, according to the New York Office of Cannabis Management.

With fewer consumers tapping into the drug market, Beckham explained, Etain’s entry into the entertainment world is his only way to survive as the industry evolves. “The competitive landscape has changed a lot and there is a difficulty in building interest in the medical program,” he said, adding that currently their biggest competition is bootleg stores that sell without a license, often at a cheaper rate.

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