Press releases or statements

VIREO APPROVED FOR NY’S FIRST-EVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA HOME DELIVERY

For Immediate Release

January 11, 2017

Contact: Andrew Mangini, 518-598-6324,

andrew@gramercycommunications.com

 

 

Vireo Approved for NY’s First-Ever Medical Marijuana Home Delivery Program

Eight County Delivery Zone to include all Five New York City Boroughs, Long Island and Westchester

 

New York, NY – Today, Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of only five companies licensed by New York State to cultivate, manufacture and dispense medical marijuana, announced that it received approval from the New York State Department of Health to launch a medical marijuana home delivery program.

 

The medical marijuana ‘from our greenhouse to your front door’ home delivery program was designed by a team of security experts, pharmacists and physicians to serve homebound patients with life-threatening and debilitating diseases, like Cancer and ALS. Initially, deliveries will cover an eight-county zone, including all five New York City Boroughs, Long Island and Westchester.

 

Numerous measures have been taken to ensure the safety of patients and the delivery staff. In accordance with State regulations that prohibit outsourcing in New York’s ‘seed-to-sale’ medical marijuana industry, all deliveries will be handled exclusively by Vireo employees. The deliveries will be handled by at least two employees, and company-owned delivery vehicles will be outfitted with cutting-edge safety features, including GPS tracking devices.

 

“New Yorkers have increasingly come to expect home delivery and we plan on leveraging ‘last mile’ supply chain technologies to meet and exceed patient expectations,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York. “We are grateful to the State’s public health and safety officials for their help making this Compassion Care Act program a reality.”

 

“Day-in and day-out our goal at Vireo Health of New York is to provide the best possible care and service to our patients,” said Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Vireo Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “Home delivery will not only help us to improve upon current services, but also expand our reach to those patients who are unable to travel. Our team is excited to provide this service to all of our existing patients, and to have the opportunity to meet new patients in other parts of the state.”

 

The Company plans to launch the program within 90 days. Delivery pricing and other details will be released over the coming weeks. Certified patients or family members of patients interested in receiving more information can sign-up for home delivery program updates by visiting: www.vireohealthny.com/delivery.

 

 

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About Vireo Health of New York
Vireo Health of New York is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. Vireo Health of New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vireo Health, LLC. For more information, visit http:/www.vireohealthny.com.

LOCAL 338 RWDSU/UFCW AND VIREO HEALTH OF NEW YORK ANNOUNCE FIRST CANNABIS INDUSTRY LABOR AGREEMENT IN EMPIRE STATE’S HISTORY

For Immediate Release

September 8, 2016

Contact: Andrew Mangini, 518-598-6324

Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW and Vireo Health of New York
Announce First Cannabis Industry Labor Agreement in Empire State’s History

New York, NY – Workers at Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”) have ratified their first union contract at the Company’s medical marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility and its dispensaries. The agreement was negotiated by Local 338 of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, UFCW, which represents all of Vireo’s employees. This ratified union contract is the first in the history of New York State’s new medical cannabis industry.

The agreement covers current and future employees at Vireo’s cultivation and manufacturing facility in Fulton County’s Tryon Technology Park, and at all four of its dispensaries located in Albany, Johnson City (Binghamton), Queens and White Plains. The contract provides a living wage with guaranteed raises, paid time off, healthcare coverage and retirement benefits.

“The strong union contract approved by the workers at Vireo will ensure that they have secure, middle class jobs so that they can provide for themselves and their families,” said John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW. “The workers in this industry are incredibly dedicated to the patients they serve. This agreement provides the peace of mind that will allow them to focus on what matters most: helping those who are suffering and creating quality medicine.”

Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW also represents approximately 16,000 workers based in New York who are employed in retail drug stores and pharmacies, food and grocery retail stores, assisted living facilities and non-profit agencies that serve the developmentally disabled. Local 338 actively partnered with patients, advocates, and elected officials to help pass the Compassionate Care Act in 2014.

“This innovative agreement, based on profitability milestones, aligns business and labor interests by ensuring that our employees benefit as our Company becomes more successful. Our commitment to providing employees with fair wages and great benefits will not only help us recruit and retain the necessary talent to provide patients with high-quality products and compassionate care, but also build a profitable business,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York. “Along with the rare opportunity to build an entirely new industry, comes a unique responsibility. It is incumbent upon us to lay an economic foundation that will provide employees with the wages and benefits their families deserve and invest in ways that help local economies across New York State prosper.”

Vireo Health, LLC, the parent company of Vireo Health of New York, operates subsidiaries in Minnesota and Maryland and is the only medical cannabis company in the country to have partnered with labor in three states.

“As a socially responsible business, we believe that a unionized workforce is good for our bottom line and that this agreement will become a national model for business-labor partnerships in the medical cannabis industry,” said Kyle Kingsley, M.D., Vireo Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “As we expand into other states, we will continue to work with UFCW affiliates. We know that we can’t be a great company without great employees.”

“As someone starting a new family, it’s great to have the security and stability of a union contract,” said Matt Denten, a Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW member and cultivator employed at Vireo Health of New York. “I’m proud to be working in the medical cannabis industry and know that my work is helping patients live meaningful lives. My coworkers and I all agreed that we wanted to be represented by Local 338 to make sure that we were protected as workers and had good benefits and wages.”

“I am very happy to see that Vireo and RWDSU have reached agreement on a fair contract for medical cannabis workers at Vireo’s production facility and dispensaries. We have always had two goals with the New York medical cannabis program – to provide effective medicine and relief for patients suffering from severe illnesses, and to create economic development and good paying jobs,” said Senator Diane Savino. “With the news of the contract negotiated between Vireo and RWDSU and the expansion of the medical cannabis program announced by the Department of Health last week, we have moved tremendously closer to accomplishing both of those goals. I salute Vireo and RWDSU for negotiating this contract. I hope the other four medical cannabis companies in New York will soon follow.”

“I’m pleased to stand in support of a new business venture that will help treat the symptoms of seriously ill patients,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “Vireo has built a great foundation for itself by fostering a positive relationship with its employees and valuing the workers who will allow it to thrive. By partnering with Local 338, the company has set a significant precedent for other dispensaries to follow.”

“I am happy to learn of the labor agreement struck with Vireo Health of New York, Local 338 of the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union, United Food and Commercial Workers,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing). “Securing labor unions means those charged with helping provide relief to people with debilitating illnesses, remain a thriving part of the middle class and raise their families with pride.”

“The agreement between labor and Vireo Health of New York, the anchor tenant of the Tryon Technology Park in Johnstown, is good news,” said Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer for Fulton County. “The agreement will allow the company to recruit great employees and grow its workforce in the region. We applaud both parties and look forward to their continued success.”

 

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VIREO’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST GOOGLE GOES NATIONAL

For Immediate Release

May 13, 2016

Media Contact: Andrew Mangini – (518) 326-6400 or (518) 598-6324

Vireo’s Campaign Against Google Goes National

13,000+ Digital Activists from 50 States Sign ‘Google: Stop Rejecting Medical Marijuana Ads’ Petition

New York, NY – Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of five companies licensed by the New York State Department of Health to produce and distribute medical cannabis, has received an outpouring of public support behind their campaign urging Google (NASDAQ – GOOG) to stop rejecting advertisements containing the words “medical cannabis,” and “medical marijuana.” The company’s Change.org online petition has now amassed more than 13,000 supporters, garnering signatures from activists in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The petition can be found here.

“The fight for sensible medical cannabis policies ought not be limited to the halls of Congress or state legislatures, but must also extend into corporate board rooms. Corporations like Google, must be held accountable for their actions,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health New York. “Until Google lives up to its own ‘do the right thing’ corporate value, we will continue to shine a bright light on those policies that restrict our ability to freely communicate with New Yorkers who suffer with debilitating pain from life-threatening conditions such as cancer, ALS and HIV/AIDS.”

This milestone represents the latest development in a series of events which began on February 14. That day, Vireo received an initial rejection notice for advertisements containing the aforementioned terms. Following a public plea for the tech giant to reverse their decision, Google instead proceeded by rejecting several additional ads, even those without the words ‘medical cannabis’ or ‘medical marijuana.’

Vireo contends that its products, which cannot be sold for recreational purposes under the New York State Compassionate Care Act, ought not fall under Google’s advertising policy, which prohibits “the promotion of substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation.”

Vireo’s leadership has made repeated efforts to discuss the situation with Google. Additionally, Hoffnung has made himself available, offering to discuss this matter personally, with help from a group of Vireo’s patients. The tech giant has yet to respond to any of these requests.

More Information:

  • April 20, 2016: Vireo launches an online petition to add supporters to their cause.
  • April 7, 2016: State Senator Diane Savino, sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act, sent a letter to Google asking the company to reconsider its stance.
  • March 18, 2016: Rejection Notice for Ads that did not use the terms ‘medical cannabis’ or ‘medical marijuana’
  • March 15, 2016: Letter to Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  • February 14, 2016: Rejection Notice for Ads that use the terms ‘medical cannabis’ or ‘medical marijuana’

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About Vireo Health of New York

Vireo Health of New York is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. Vireo Health of New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vireo Health, LLC. For more information, visit http:/www.vireohealthny.com.

About the New York State Compassionate Care Act

New York State Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014. It allows patients to use medical cannabis if they have been diagnosed with a specific severe, debilitating or life threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition.

The law identifies several severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions including: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and epilepsy. The associated or complicating conditions are cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Physicians must complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health approved course and register with the Department to certify patients. Practitioners must consult the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry prior to issuing a certification to a patient for medical cannabis.

Patients who are certified by their practitioners must apply to the Department to obtain a registry identification card in order to obtain medical cannabis in accordance with any recommendations made by the patient’s practitioner. During the patient registration process, certified patients may designate up to two caregivers, who must also register with the Department, to obtain and administer medical cannabis products on behalf of the patients.

Registered organizations may only manufacture medical cannabis products in forms approved by the Commissioner. Approved forms currently include liquid or oil preparations for metered oromucosal or sublingual administration or administration per tube, metered liquid or oil preparations for vaporization, and capsules for oral administration. The Compassionate Care Act expressly provides that a certified medical use of cannabis does not include smoking. For more information, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

VIREO INVITES CLINTON, CRUZ, KASICH, SANDERS AND TRUMP TO TOUR MEDICAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION FACILITY

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2016

Media Contact: Jill Montag – (518) 326-6400 and (518) 852-8188

Vireo Invites Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, Sanders and Trump
to Tour Medical Cannabis Cultivation Facility

 Company asks each presidential candidate to clarify position on medical cannabis in advance of Primary Day

New York, NY – Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of five companies licensed by the New York State Department of Health to produce and sell medical cannabis, is inviting all five presidential candidates to visit its cultivation and lab facilities at Tryon Technology Park in Fulton County, New York. At the conclusion of the tour, candidates will be asked to make a public statement clarifying their positions on medical cannabis.

“New York State is the 23rd state to approve the medicinal use of cannabis for the seriously ill. New Yorkers—and all Americans—have the right to know exactly where the candidates stand on resolving the conflicts between federal and state laws on this crucial issue,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York. “Patients struggling with debilitating and life-threatening diseases like cancer, ALS and HIV/AIDS should not be forced to choose between continuing to suffer and violating federal law.”

Vireo is asking that candidates unable to visit the facility before New York’s April 19th primary make a public statement on the issue before New Yorkers head to the polls.

For more information, please see these invitations.

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About Vireo Health of New York

Vireo Health of New York is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. Vireo Health of New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vireo Health, LLC. For more information, visit http:/www.vireohealthny.com.

About the Tryon Technology Park

Vireo Health of New York is the anchor tenant in the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center in Perth, New York. This site was formerly the Tryon Boys and Girls Center (Tryon Facility), a juvenile detention center where Mike Tyson spent time as a child. The Tryon Facility was shut down in 2011 as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to consolidate state government services and boost the efficiency of the juvenile justice facility system. In 2012, the facility was transferred at no cost to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency (FCIDA) for redevelopment.

About the New York State Compassionate Care Act

New York State Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014. It allows patients to use medical cannabis if they have been diagnosed with a specific severe, debilitating or life threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition.

The law identifies several severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions including: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and epilepsy. The associated or complicating conditions are cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Physicians must complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health approved course and register with the Department to certify patients. Practitioners must consult the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry prior to issuing a certification to a patient for medical cannabis.

Patients who are certified by their practitioners must apply to the Department to obtain a registry identification card in order to obtain medical cannabis in accordance with any recommendations made by the patient’s practitioner. During the patient registration process, certified patients may designate up to two caregivers, who must also register with the Department, to obtain and administer medical cannabis products on behalf of the patients.

Registered organizations may only manufacture medical cannabis products in forms approved by the Commissioner. Approved forms currently include liquid or oil preparations for metered oromucosal or sublingual administration or administration per tube, metered liquid or oil preparations for vaporization, and capsules for oral administration. The Compassionate Care Act expressly provides that a certified medical use of cannabis does not include smoking. For more information, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

 

 

 

 

 

VIREO HEALTH OF NEW YORK’S MEDICAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS FIRST IN WORLD CERTIFIED AS KOSHER BY THE ORTHODOX UNION

For Immediate Release

December 30, 2015

Media Contact: Jill Montag – (518) 326-6400 and (518) 852-8188

Vireo Health of New York’s Medical Cannabis Products First in

World Certified as Kosher by the Orthodox Union

‘OU’ Symbol to Appear on Company’s Medical Vaporization Cartridges, Oils and Capsules

New York, NY – Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of only five companies licensed by the New York State Department of Health to produce and sell medical cannabis, announced today that all of the company’s products produced in New York have been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (“OU”), the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency.

The trademarked ‘OU’ symbol will appear for the first time ever on medical cannabis products, including the Company’s vaporization cartridges, oils and capsules. These products will be made available for purchase to qualifying patients in Vireo’s four New York State retail dispensaries, scheduled to open in January, in White Plains, Queens, Binghamton and Albany.

“Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” said Ari Hoffnung, Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “Today’s announcement sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot’ culture. Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”

“We are pleased to grant kosher certification to Vireo Health of New York’s medical cannabis products which were developed to alleviate pain and suffering in accordance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher. “Judaism prioritizes health and encourages the use of medicine designed to improve one’s health or reduce pain. Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a chet, a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.”

“We are thrilled to be the first medical cannabis company in the world to join companies like Novartis and Pfizer that choose the OU for their kosher certification,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health, the parent company of Vireo Health of New York and Minnesota Medical Solutions. “Vireo and the OU both share a deep commitment to rigorous quality standards, and we look forward to broadening our relationship as we expand our operations into other states.”

“We are delighted to have Vireo’s medical cannabis products join nearly one million other products worldwide that we certify as kosher,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher. “In a life or death situation, Jewish law clearly sets aside the kosher status of a medicine, but in other cases, it is preferable and sometimes recommended that a medicine be certified kosher. We commend Vireo Health of New York for taking this step and making this commitment to the Jewish community.”

Prior to being awarded kosher certification, OU Kosher leadership held extensive conversations with the company’s senior management. OU Kosher’s rabbinic field representatives then visited Vireo’s medical cannabis cultivation and lab facilities, located in Fulton County, New York, for inspection and verification, to assure that all OU Kosher standards and policies were in place.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis. Nationally, more than 1.1 million patients have registered for their state programs, and nearly 150 million Americans live in states with laws allowing for the medicinal use of cannabis.

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About Vireo Health of New York

Vireo Health of New York, formerly Empire State Health Solutions, is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. Vireo Health of New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vireo Health, LLC. For more information, visit http://www.vireohealthny.com.

About the OU Kosher

The OU (Orthodox Union) Kosher is the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, certifying close to 1,000,000 products produced in over 8,000 plants located in 80 countries around the world. The OU, termed a “coveted seal of approval” by The New York Times, is one of the world’s best-known trademarks. Comparing it to the UL®, Forbes magazine wrote, “If you want to know your food is kosher, you can look for the Orthodox Union’s OU symbol.”

Many of the food industry’s most recognized brands, large and small, choose the OU for their kosher certification, including: ADM, Avebe, Best Foods, Cargill, Cerestar, Coca-Cola, Cognis, Peter Cremer, Danisco, Dean Foods, DSM, General Mills, Haarmann & Reimer, Chr. Hansen, Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical, H.J. Heinz, Hershey’s, Kraft/Nabisco, McCormick & Co., Nestlé, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Pillsbury, Quest, Reynolds Aluminum, Rhodia, Unilever and thousands more. For more information, visit http://www.ou.org.

About the New York State Compassionate Care Act

New York State Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014. It allows patients to use medical cannabis if they have been diagnosed with a specific severe, debilitating or life threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition.

The law identifies several severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions including: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and epilepsy. The associated or complicating conditions are cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Physicians must complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health approved course and register with the Department to certify patients. Practitioners must consult the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry prior to issuing a certification to a patient for medical cannabis.

Patients who are certified by their practitioners must apply to the Department to obtain a registry identification card in order to obtain medical cannabis in accordance with any recommendations made by the patient’s practitioner. During the patient registration process, certified patients may designate up to two caregivers, who must also register with the Department, to obtain and administer medical cannabis products on behalf of the patients.

Registered organizations may only manufacture medical cannabis products in forms approved by the Commissioner. Approved forms currently include liquid or oil preparations for metered oromucosal or sublingual administration or administration per tube, metered liquid or oil preparations for vaporization, and capsules for oral administration. The Compassionate Care Act expressly provides that a certified medical use of cannabis does not include smoking. For more information, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

 

ARI HOFFNUNG APPOINTED CEO OF VIREO HEALTH OF NEW YORK

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2015

Media Contact: Jill Montag – (518) 326-6400 and (518) 852-8188

ARI HOFFNUNG APPOINTED CEO OF VIREO HEALTH OF NEW YORK

Executive with Two Decades of Wall Street and City Hall Experience Joins Vireo’s Team

Albany, NY – Vireo Health announced today that Ari Hoffnung has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health of New York. Hoffnung will lead the company, which has one manufacturing facility and four dispensaries throughout the state and will begin serving patients in January. He replaces Dr. Kyle Kingsley who will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Hoffnung is no stranger to the world of medical cannabis. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a medical cannabis company. Prior to that, Hoffnung served as New York City’s Deputy Comptroller for Budget & Public Affairs, where he oversaw the City’s $70 billion budget, managed a 100+ employee staff and served as the chief liaison to all levels of governments and to various labor unions. Before serving in New York City government, Hoffnung was a Managing Director at Bear Sterns, where he worked for more than a decade.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Ari’s caliber join our world-class leadership team of experienced physicians, scientists and business professionals,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Vireo Health, the parent company of Vireo Health of New York and Minnesota Medical Solutions. “Ari shares our passion for producing and delivering the highest-quality, safest cannabis-based medications to patients who need it the most.”

“I am honored and humbled to have an opportunity to serve my fellow New Yorkers struggling with diseases like Cancer, ALS and epilepsy,” said Hoffnung. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and leveraging the scientific advances that have already been made in Minnesota to the benefit of New York patients.”

As New York City Deputy Comptroller, Mr. Hoffnung led a research team composed of economists and policy experts that published two-dozen white papers, including two ground-breaking and widely-cited reports on the public-health and economic impacts of reforming cannabis policies: 100,000 Reasons: Medical Marijuana In The Big Apple and Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC.

Hoffnung holds an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College. He resides in the Riverdale section of the Bronx with his wife and three children.

Vireo Health, LLC is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, organically grown, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. As the parent company of Vireo Health of New York, formerly Empire State Health Solutions, and Minnesota Medical Solutions, Vireo has national expertise in providing patients with the safest, most-effective cannabis-based medications for a variety of ailments. For more information, visit www.vireohealth.com.

 

 

 

 

VIREO HEALTH DEVELOPS NEW CBD-RICH CANNABIS PLANT

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2015

Media Contact: Jill Montag – (518) 326-6400 and (518) 852-8188

 VIREO HEALTH DEVELOPS NEW CBD-RICH CANNABIS PLANT
“Katelyn Faith” Strain Could be the Most CBD-Intensive Plant in the World

Albany, NY (December 16, 2015) – Vireo Health and its subsidiary Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed) announced today that they have developed a new type of cannabis plant that is extraordinarily high in CBD, one of two of the primary medicinal components of the plant. Vireo Health believes that the new plant is the most CBD-rich plant in the world, and that the discovery could lead to more affordable cannabis-based medicines for Vireo’s patients.

“This is a great example of how patients benefit from our focus on scientific research,” said Kyle Kingsley, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health. “This discovery will eventually lead to lower prices for many patients.”

The cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two primary medicinal components in the cannabis plant. In a typical cannabis plant, CBD is much less abundant than THC. CBD has been found to be especially useful as an anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory treatment, and could also be useful for treatment of a number of other medical conditions. High-CBD formulations also have little to no intoxication side effects.

On November 19th, an independent third-party laboratory analysis found that a new Vireo Health cannabis strain had a CBD-to-THC ratio of 34-to-1. For context, the CBD-to-THC ratio of cannabis typically sold for medical use is around 1-to-1, and around 20-to-1 for “Charlotte’s Web,” a particularly high-CBD strain used in medicines. The 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” made Charlotte’s Web famous, causing many to move to Colorado to access the strain.

“This is likely the most CBD-rich strain in the world, though it’s difficult to know for sure, because testing is not as rigorous and transparent as it should be,” said Kingsley.

CBD levels of traditional cannabis strains are low, so numerous plants must be grown to yield a relatively small amount of CBD. This can make the cost of medicine burdensome for patients who require a high dose of a CBD-rich formulation. Within about six to eight months, Vireo Health hopes the expanded availability of its new CBD-rich plant will lead to lower prices for Minnesota patients using CBD-rich formulations.

Under current state and federal laws banning the exportation of medical cannabis across state lines, the new strain cannot be used to help patients outside of Minnesota. Vireo Health hopes those laws will eventually be adjusted to allow more patients to benefit. In the meantime, the company does plan on using its cutting-edge horticultural techniques to attempt to develop similar CBD-rich strains in other states in which it is licensed to operate.

“We expect that this discovery will ultimately benefit patients in New York as well as Minnesota,” said Stephen Dahmer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “We will work with our partners at Minnesota Medical Solutions and are confident that over time we will be able to develop a similar plant with similar characteristics.”

The new strain was discovered through MinnMed’s painstaking process of developing hundreds of plant strains, and testing the content of each strain in its in-house laboratory. A few hundred plants of the newly developed strain are already being grown in MinnMed’s greenhouse in Otsego, Minnesota.

MinnMed has dubbed the strain “Katelyn Faith” in memory of Katelyn Faith Pauling, an eight-year old girl from Montevideo, Minnesota who often accompanied her parents as they vigorously advocated for medical cannabis at the Minnesota State Capitol. Katelyn passed away due to complications from Battens Disease, which causes seizures. She passed away on March 20, 2015, before the Minnesota medical cannabis law became effective on July 1, 2015. Her condition would have made her a prime candidate to benefit from high-CBD medicines.

“We named this special plant after a special little girl,” said Kingsley.

Vireo Health, LLC is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The Company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, organically grown, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. As the parent company of Vireo Health of New York, formerly Empire State Health Solutions, and Minnesota Medical Solutions, Vireo has national expertise in providing patients with the safest, most-effective cannabis-based medications for a variety of ailments. For more information, visit www.vireohealth.com.