News and Special Updates



For Immediate Release
December 16, 2015

Media Contact: Jill Montag – (518) 326-6400 and (518) 852-8188

“Katelyn Faith” Strain Could be the Most CBD-Intensive Plant in the World

Albany, NY (December 16, 2015) – Vireo Health and its subsidiary Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed) announced today that they have developed a new type of cannabis plant that is extraordinarily high in CBD, one of two of the primary medicinal components of the plant. Vireo Health believes that the new plant is the most CBD-rich plant in the world, and that the discovery could lead to more affordable cannabis-based medicines for Vireo’s patients.

“This is a great example of how patients benefit from our focus on scientific research,” said Kyle Kingsley, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health. “This discovery will eventually lead to lower prices for many patients.”

The cannabinoids CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two primary medicinal components in the cannabis plant. In a typical cannabis plant, CBD is much less abundant than THC. CBD has been found to be especially useful as an anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory treatment, and could also be useful for treatment of a number of other medical conditions. High-CBD formulations also have little to no intoxication side effects.

On November 19th, an independent third-party laboratory analysis found that a new Vireo Health cannabis strain had a CBD-to-THC ratio of 34-to-1. For context, the CBD-to-THC ratio of cannabis typically sold for medical use is around 1-to-1, and around 20-to-1 for “Charlotte’s Web,” a particularly high-CBD strain used in medicines. The 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” made Charlotte’s Web famous, causing many to move to Colorado to access the strain.

“This is likely the most CBD-rich strain in the world, though it’s difficult to know for sure, because testing is not as rigorous and transparent as it should be,” said Kingsley.

CBD levels of traditional cannabis strains are low, so numerous plants must be grown to yield a relatively small amount of CBD. This can make the cost of medicine burdensome for patients who require a high dose of a CBD-rich formulation. Within about six to eight months, Vireo Health hopes the expanded availability of its new CBD-rich plant will lead to lower prices for Minnesota patients using CBD-rich formulations.

Under current state and federal laws banning the exportation of medical cannabis across state lines, the new strain cannot be used to help patients outside of Minnesota. Vireo Health hopes those laws will eventually be adjusted to allow more patients to benefit. In the meantime, the company does plan on using its cutting-edge horticultural techniques to attempt to develop similar CBD-rich strains in other states in which it is licensed to operate.

“We expect that this discovery will ultimately benefit patients in New York as well as Minnesota,” said Stephen Dahmer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “We will work with our partners at Minnesota Medical Solutions and are confident that over time we will be able to develop a similar plant with similar characteristics.”

The new strain was discovered through MinnMed’s painstaking process of developing hundreds of plant strains, and testing the content of each strain in its in-house laboratory. A few hundred plants of the newly developed strain are already being grown in MinnMed’s greenhouse in Otsego, Minnesota.

MinnMed has dubbed the strain “Katelyn Faith” in memory of Katelyn Faith Pauling, an eight-year old girl from Montevideo, Minnesota who often accompanied her parents as they vigorously advocated for medical cannabis at the Minnesota State Capitol. Katelyn passed away due to complications from Battens Disease, which causes seizures. She passed away on March 20, 2015, before the Minnesota medical cannabis law became effective on July 1, 2015. Her condition would have made her a prime candidate to benefit from high-CBD medicines.

“We named this special plant after a special little girl,” said Kingsley.

Vireo Health, LLC is a physician-led company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The Company provides a wide array of pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from the highest quality, organically grown, pesticide-free plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with novel cannabinoid combinations. As the parent company of Vireo Health of New York, formerly Empire State Health Solutions, and Minnesota Medical Solutions, Vireo has national expertise in providing patients with the safest, most-effective cannabis-based medications for a variety of ailments. For more information, visit

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