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What you need to know for 01/21/2017

Vireo gets approval for home delivery of marijuana

Vireo gets approval for home delivery of marijuana

Patients can sign up on company's website
Vireo gets approval for home delivery of marijuana
Head Cultivator Chris Schmitt looks over drying marijuana plants at Vireo Health in Perth on Oct. 20, 2016
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

Vireo Health of New York announced Wednesday that the company received approval from the state Department of Health to launch a medical marijuana home delivery program. 

The company is one of five in New York licensed to produce and distribute medical marijuana under the state's medical marijuana program, which is administered and regulated by the state Department of Health. Vireo Health has a medical marijuana processing facility at the Tryon Tech Park in Fulton County.

The home delivery program is approved in all five boroughs of New York City and on Long Island, as well as in Westchester County. A spokesman for Vireo said the company is the only one in New York to receive approval for a home delivery program. 

“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, in a prepared statement. “We are grateful to the state’s public health and safety officials for their help making this Compassion Care Act program a reality.”

The Compassionate Care Act, passed by the state Legislature in July of 2014, is what enabled New York to embark on a medical marijuana program. In another fortunate turn for medical marijuana advocates and companies, the Health Department recently added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for inclusion in the state's medical marijuana program. 

As of Jan. 9, a total of 816 practitioners have registered for the state's program and have certified 12,247 patients for medical marijuana use statewide.

Vireo said the 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 Lou Gehrig's disease. 

The company said that, in accordance with state regulations, deliveries will be handled by at least two Vireo employees, and company-owned delivery vehicles will be outfitted with cutting--edge safety features, including GPS tracking devices.

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

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