The Vireo Story

Vireo Health is a physician-founded, patient-focused company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based products and unrivaled care. We integrate best-in-class medical, scientific, and engineering practices into the cannabis industry. We are committed to creating safe, all-natural cannabis-based products, and a compassionate patient experience.
The Company operates 3 states – Maryland, Minnesota, and New York.

As an emergency medicine physician, I saw firsthand that opioids are overused, frequently abused and too often result in fatal overdoses. Medical cannabis is a safer, less addictive alternative.
Dr. Kyle Kingsley, Founder & Executive Chairman of Goodness Growth Holdings

Vireo Health cultivates the finest cannabis plants in environmentally-friendly greenhouses and produces pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts and other cannabis products in state-of-the-art labs. These products are sold through Vireo-owned dispensaries to qualifying patients in Maryland, Minnesota, and New York. Vireo dispensaries employ teams of patient care experts and licensed pharmacists who help patients find the right solution for their needs. Vireo also distributes our products through third-party owned dispensaries in Maryland, Minnesota, and New York.

The Vireo team is comprised of physicians, scientists, and horticulturists that have been successful in a variety of settings and bring a broad spectrum of experience in best practices and evidence-based medicine.

The Company’s founder, Kyle Kingsley, MD, is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, serial entrepreneur, and inventor. He was inspired to launch Vireo after encountering numerous patients who successfully used cannabis to effectively alleviate their pain and suffering.

Initially a medical cannabis skeptic, Dr. Kingsley’s position on the issue evolved over time, as he delved into the science that was absent from his medical school training and became intrigued by the small, but building body of clinical evidence around the medical use of cannabis as well as the increasing number of real world patient stories he observed first-hand.

One particularly moving story came from a Gulf War veteran — a six-foot male in his forties, father of two, originally from California — who had suffered a gunshot wound that resulted in a spinal cord injury. For years following the war, the vet continued to experience debilitating pain and muscle spasms in his legs that prevented him from leading a normal life. After a lengthy period of being prescribed large amounts of opiates with numerous adverse side effects – including constant states of sedation, dizziness, and nausea — he decided to try cannabis, which quickly provided him significant relief from his symptoms with little to no side-effects and helped pave the way for him to return to normal everyday life.

Prescriptions of four potent opiates to veterans have more than tripled since 9/11, contributing to drug abuse, addiction and suicide. The Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to combat the problem, but results vary dramatically across the nation. (Source: CIR)

This is just one of the many first-hand accounts that inspired Dr. Kingsley to learn more about medical cannabis. Drawing on his significant experience and passion in medicine, business and horticulture, Dr. Kingsley decided to launch his own medical cannabis company, Minnesota Medical Solutions.

The Company’s first milestone was winning the highly competitive, merit-based Minnesota medical cannabis licensing process in which it was ranked first out of a dozen applicants. Only a few months later, Dr. Kingsley launched another Vireo company, Vireo Health of New York (formerly known as Empire State Health Solutions), to compete for one of New York’s five medical cannabis licenses. On July 31, 2015, the Company was informed that it had won a license in New York, achieving its second milestone. Vireo Health of New York ranked second out of 43 finalists. Since that time, Vireo has expanded into four more states nationwide and expects to be operating in additional five by early 2020.

As one of the only physician-led medical cannabis companies in the world, Vireo Health collaborates with research organizations to better understand medical cannabis, its applications, and its safety. These partnerships help to reinforce and improve the scientific underpinning of the beneficial effects of cannabis and its ability to treat a range of medical conditions.

The Vireo team is now focused on increasing awareness about the number of deaths caused each year from the use of highly addictive opioid pain medications such as oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone and the illicit, related street drug heroin and conducting research on how medical cannabis could be used as a replacement to opioids.