Statement from Vireo Health on the Expansion of Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program to Include the Use of Smokable Cannabis Flower

Vireo Health International, Inc. (“Vireo” or the “Company”) (CSE: VREO; OTCQX: VREOF), the leading physician-led, science-focused multi-state cannabis company, today announced its support for Governor Walz signing into law the expansion of Minnesota’s medical cannabis program to include smokable cannabis flower. 

The below statements are attributable to Vireo Health’s Chairman and CEO, Kyle Kingsley, MD. Dr. Kingsley was an emergency room physician who left the ER to start one of Minnesota’s first medical cannabis companies.

“This advancement marks a major milestone for Minnesota and begins the next chapter for the state’s medical cannabis program. Adding smokable cannabis flower to the state’s cannabis program will drastically improve the accessibility and affordability for both new and existing cannabis patients.

We applaud Governor Walz and legislators from both parties for acting on this important endeavor to do what we believe is best for Minnesota patients.  Over time, the addition of cannabis flower to the medical program will cut costs for many of the tens of thousands of Minnesotans across the state who currently use cannabis to treat serious medical conditions. It will also encourage the participation of many new patients who previously were shut out of the program due to costs or lack of product diversity.

As a physician, I believe that this advancement will also help protect public health and safety by driving patients who previously could not afford the state’s program away from illicit markets. The high costs of the medical program previously led to many patients using unsafe and untested cannabis products, including flower, purchased from the illicit market without the guidance or support of healthcare practitioners. Now Minnesotans can more easily access medical cannabis dispensed by licensed pharmacists and be monitored on our state prescription monitoring program.

Furthermore, we believe cannabis is a safer, less addictive alternative for the treatment of chronic or intractable pain. Therefore, the addition of smokable cannabis flower could further help to reduce the irrevocable damage caused by the opioid epidemic. In 2019, opioid overdoses hit a tragic record high with 428 confirmed deaths of Minnesotans. In that same year, zero died from a cannabis overdose.”

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