Vireo Health International Inc., a physician-led, science-focused multi-state cannabis company, announced the acquisition of medical cannabis licenses in Puerto Rico.
The acquisition is comprised of pre-approvals for licenses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis products and operate up to six dispensaries.
Vireo has leased a 40,000 square-foot former Pfizer facility in the Cruce Dávila Business Park, located in Barceloneta to house its cultivation and processing operations. The company also plans to launch six Green Goods dispensaries throughout the island in Arecibo, Bayamón, Caguas, Guaynabo, Guayama, and Hormigueros.
This transaction marks the 11th market in which Vireo is licensed to grow, manufacture, or sell cannabis products, the company said.
“Vireo continues to seek unique opportunities to drive our science-focused approach into larger markets. We’re thrilled to expand into the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, one of the largest pharmaceutical hubs in the world,” said CEO Kyle Kingsley.
“This expansion will give us access to the island’s deep pool of talented professionals, create a wide variety of jobs, and allow us to help many more patients,” he said.
Vireo Health of Puerto Rico will be led by Christian González, a native of the island with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus, who brings more than 15 years of experience in cannabis, medical device, pharmaceutical, and aerospace/defense manufacturing.
González currently serves as the general manager of Vireo Health of Pennsylvania, where he oversees the company’s state-of-the art cultivation and processing facility.
“It is an honor to lead Vireo’s efforts here in Puerto Rico,” said González. “The island has faced many challenges since Hurricane María. I am humbled by the opportunity to return home and contribute to rebuilding the local economy.”
Puerto Rico passed the Medicinal Act on July 9, 2017, which created the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Board and allowed for only medical use of cannabis. In Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis program there are 27 qualifying conditions for which an authorized physician can prescribe cannabis.
There are currently 72,000 patients enrolled in the program and the Health Department set a goal of adding 100,000 more new patients by the end of the year.