NEW YORK 1 NEWS: FIRST MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY IN QUEENS OPENS

It was a quiet opening Friday for Vireo Health. There were few patients at the medical marijuana dispensary, but the executives did not act worried.

“Our experience working in other states, like in Minnesota, is that these things take time and that you need to be patient,” Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health said.

They say they are encouraged by the number of doctors who have signed up to write marijuana prescriptions, even though critics say the number is disappointing.

“Over 200 physicians have taken four hours of their time to learn about medical cannabis and to become certified by the state so that they can recommend medical cannabis to their patients,” Hoffnung said.

The Elmhurst dispensary is the second to open in the city. The local state legislator says community concerns are easing.

“Once you take a look at the way the model is created here, it will reduce that alarm exponentially,” State Assemblymen Jeffrion Aubry of Queens said. “This is a medical facility.”

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