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First Legal Medical Marijuana Harvested In New York

In a staged event on Thursday, Vireo Health, formally Empire State Health Solutions, harvested its first crop of medical cannabis, two months before New York’s program is set to begin.

The Perth, New York company will be the first in the area to have a legal cannabis harvest in N.Y. in more than a century. Vireo was one of five companies picked by the state to grow and dispense medical marijuana. “I’m confident that we’ll be able to cover all the patients that are registered in New York right away,” Dr. Kyle Kingsley the CEO of Vireo Health said during a tour of the facility.

The staged tour of the facility came two days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to create an emergency program, separate from the Compassionate Care Act. Patients with a qualifying condition can get permission from their doctor to obtain non-smokable forms of cannabis.

Vireo Health said in a statement, it’s still reaching for a January launch, “we’re very focused on our time table and getting the meds to patients as soon as we can, we’ll work with the department to accelerate that to the extent possible but there’s a lot of things that need to be done still,” says Dr. Kingsley.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the program is still on track to begin in January, but it remains to be seen if dispensaries throughout the New York will meet the January 1 deadline and open on time.

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