ALBANY, N.Y. — Etain Health is ready to run, but New York wants it to crawl. One of the five companies licensed to produce and sell medical marijuana in the Empire State, Etain has dispensaries in Albany, Kingston, Syracuse and Yonkers, as well as a 22,000-square-foot cultivation and manufacturing facility capable of serving 20,000 patients.
Company: Etain Health
Owner: Peckham family
Locations: Albany, Syracuse, Kingston and Yonkers, New York
Operations: Four dispensaries, 22,000-square-foot cultivation and manufacturing facility, Gavita HPS
“There is a lot more skepticism in the Northeast of whether or not this is a credible medicine,” chief operating officer Hillary Peckham said. “It’s not just a group of friends that are trying to grow weed. It’s people who’re trying to produce a medicine for good reasons.”
Peckham said the company has taken a different approach than most of the other state-licensed organizations in New York. Although the company operates as a for-profit business, many of Etain’s goals seem to mirror those of a traditional non-profit.
“We’re very community-focused,” she said. “We’re just trying to do the right thing.”
Etain Health makes numerous efforts to enhance the communities where it operates, including hiring local part-time employees for its harvest program. The company also has a program specifically for helping women who had previously retired or left jobs to be stay-at-home moms return to the workforce.
“It’s part of our whole vision with Etain to promote women,” Peckham said. “Any sort of direction we can take to support that and remain good community partners is essential for this industry.”
Promoting women in the industry makes sense, considering women play such a significant role within Etain. Hillary Peckham’s sister, Keeley Peckham, is the chief horticulture officer, while their mother, Amy Peckham, is the company’s CEO.
“This is a huge victory for us, for women-owned and family-owned businesses, and for New York State!” the company posted on social media after receiving its license.
Etain’s patient count continues to climb slowly, as New York’s program has expanded from just 51 patients in January to nearly 4,000 in May.
Although the company’s reach is limited at the moment, Peckham said she is optimistic about the steps the Department of Health has taken to expand the program.