Curaleaf is a business that aims to bring relief to some of Orange County's seriously ill patients, like Newburgh area resident Garry Croney, who suffers from cancer, neuropathy and chronic pain.
"I've been using it since December," says the retired Navy veteran of medical marijuana. "Since then, the pain is a whole lot less. My talking has gotten a lot better with it. And I haven't used opiates since December."
Croney says before he discovered medical marijuana, he managed that pain with opiates. Now, patients with chronic illnesses like Croney have a new medicinal marijuana option in Orange County.
"Before they opened, the nearest place we could go was Kingston, and it's 45 minutes away," he says. "The prices are a lot more expensive than they are here."
Curaleaf opened its doors officially Thursday, hoping to help more people like Croney live better lives.
"We chose this location because it's safe and convenient," said Curaleaf NY President/CEO Michelle Bodner. "There is access here; you can see it's bright, it's welcoming. Our staff, our pharmacists are trained to answer any questions you may have."
Dozens came out to celebrate the opening of the first dispensary in the county and the new business opportunity it creates. The dispensary provides oils, tinctures and capsules to those who suffer from a list of chronic illnesses.
"It's important on a number of levels," said Orange County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Lynn Allen Cione. "One is, of course, it provides relief for people who are suffering -- which, of course, is the primary reason. Secondly, it is another business; a diverse business."
Patients say it's changing their quality of life.
"I can move around a lot better, I can get out," Croney said. "The pain is down enough [that] I can do some of my leg exercises so I can build up my muscles again, because I deteriorated quite a bit from the cancer."
"If they qualify for it, they should try it because it definitely makes a difference," Croney added. "It gets you off the pills."