The Durst family real-estate empire — which weeded out pot-loving killer Robert Durst from its ranks — is teaming up with a major hospital trade association in a bid to legally grow and dispense medical marijuana.
Durst, 72, has been locked in a New Orleans jail since his March 14 arrest, when FBI agents found a revolver and marijuana in his hotel room, his latest in a string of pot-fueled follies.
Durst also is facing extradition to California to face charges that he killed his longtime friend Susan Berman after she’d been contacted by the Westchester County DA, who was investigating the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen.
Durst had testified that he kept five pounds of high-grade marijuana in the freezer of his home in Galveston, Texas, where his self-defense stance helped him beat a murder rap in the shooting death of a neighbor.
Now the empire — headed by estranged brother Douglas Durst — that ousted the one-time murder suspect wants a piece of the pot action.
It is joining with the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents nearly 250 hospitals and health-care facilities in the state, for the high purpose of growing and selling weed to medically qualified customers.
The newly formed partnership would have the hospital group’s for-profit subsidiary handling the medical details as Douglas Durst deals with the logistics of manufacturing, production and distribution.
“We know what our expertise is,” said GNYHA Ventures president Lee Perlman. “We needed to find a partner that had the infrastructure and the capital to make this very special.”
It helped that the Durst Organization was familiar with growing things other than tall buildings.
The real-estate company also owns and operates McEnroe Organic Farm in Dutchess County, although a company spokesman, Jordan Barowitz, said marijuana would not be grown there if the company wins the bid.
“It was that agricultural experience that was the impetus of our interest in the application,” Barowitz said.
Also bidding is the North Shore LIJ medical system.
Industry watchers said the two hospital bids are signs that the medical-marijuana field is gaining respectability.
Winning bids are expected to be announced next month.
By Leonard Greene (NY Post)