The Daily Gazette: Vireo cheers Department of Health medical marijuana decision

— An official at medical marijuana company Vireo Health applauded the state Department of Health’s recent decision to add chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the New York’s medical marijuana program, but said the company will not know the impact of the decision until the state reveals how it will define chronic pain.

On Thursday, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced that after conducting a thorough review of scientific literature regarding marijuana’s effect on chronic pain, the department will develop a regulatory amendment that will “include language specifying the chronic pain conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana,” according to a DOH statement.

The statement said the department will publish the proposed regulatory amendment for public comment shortly.

DOH data show that 750 physicians have registered for the state’s medical marijuana program, qualifying 10,730 patients as of Nov. 29.

Vireo Health of New York, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, operates a medical marijuana-processing facility at the Tryon Tech Park in Fulton County.

Vireo Health CEO Kyle Kingsley told The Daily Gazette that the state’s decision is very welcome news, and that the company is eagerly awaiting the state’s forthcoming regulatory amendment. Kingsley said the company saw a sharp uptick in business after chronic pain was added to the medical marijuana program in Minnesota, where Vireo operates a processing facility.

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