From the office of Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Vireo Health’s Chief Medical Officer:
The statement below can be attributed to Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Vireo Health’s Chief Medical Officer. Vireo Health is one of the state’s original registered organizations and Dr. Dahmer helped to serve what is believed to be the state’s first patient at Vireo’s Cannabis Patient Center in White Plains in January 2016. Vireo Health also has Cannabis Patient Centers in Queens, Albany and Johnson City (Broome County), and its cultivation and manufacturing facility is in Johnstown (Fulton County).
Dr. Dahmer is also available for phone or virtual interviews on this topic.
“Vireo Health applauds the New York State legislature on the passage of adult use marijuana, an historic vote that will have far-reaching impacts on all New Yorkers. We commend the attention to equity and social justice – aspects that need addressing when legalizing recreational marijuana – and the legislature’s prioritization of expungement, minority licenses and locating dispensaries in low-income neighborhoods. These are all critical first steps to righting the wrongs of the longtime criminalization of cannabis.
“In the meantime, we recognize that New York’s recreational program will take time to develop and implement. It is therefore imperative that New York also continue to grow and improve the state’s medical cannabis program as well. New York can begin by allowing the sale of cannabis flower to help reduce cost, increase access and strengthen the state’s medical program.
“We look forward to working with our partners in government to ensure that the legalization of marijuana remains an equitable endeavor and that the state continues to support the existing medical program as well.”