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Vireo Health Enters Recreational Cannabis With Mayflower Botanicals Acquisition

Vireo Health Enters Recreational Cannabis With Mayflower Botanicals Acquisition
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Vireo Health International (OTC:VREOF), a science-focused multistate cannabis operator, is expanding into Massachusetts through the acquisition of Mayflower Botanicals, one of the state’s registered marijuana dispensaries.

Vireo operates in nine states, but Massachusetts will be the company’s first foray into an adult-use recreational marijuana markets.

As a physician-led company, Vireo views Massachusetts and other adult-use states as an opportunity to position cannabis as a healthier, less-addictive alternative to alcohol and tobacco.

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An Alternative To Alcohol, Tobacco

A 2013 Centers for Disease Control study showed that 18 percent of adult Americans participated in excessive alcohol consumption, commonly called binge drinking. That excessive consumption of alcohol is responsible for an estimated 88,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

While the number of Americans who smoke tobacco continues to fall, smoking is still considered one of the leading causes of preventable death, responsible for over 500,000 deaths per year according to a 2014 CDC study.

Vireo’s CEO and Founder Kyle Kingsley, M.D. told Benzinga he started the company as an emergency room physician who was tired of watching patients die of opioid overdoses.

"Medical cannabis is not only a good alternative for pain medications, but it can also help save lives by becoming an alternative for the recreational use of alcohol and tobacco, which are more addictive and create greater health concerns.”

Arizona, New Mexico Investments

Late last week, Vireo expanded into two new medical marijuana markets as well.

On Monday, the company announced the acquisition of Arizona Natural Remedies, a vertically integrated operator with a dispensary in Phoenix.

Vireo followed that announcement Thursday by disclosing a second acquisition in New Mexico. Vireo purchased Red Barn, a holder of one of New Mexico’s medical cannabis licenses and owner of dispensaries in Santa Fe and Gallup.

“Vireo is excited to expand our operations into the Southwest region. Arizona and New Mexico’s well-established medical cannabis markets present us with fantastic opportunities to help more patients,” Kingsley told Benzinga at the time.

“Both Arizona Natural Remedies and Red Barn are well-respected operators and we look forward to welcoming them into the Vireo Family and continuing to provide their patients with top-quality cannabis products and unrivaled patient experiences.”

Vireo OTC shares were trading up by 1.54 percent at $4.98 at the time of publication Thursday.

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Posted-In: Kyle Kingsley marijuana Mayflower BotanicalsCannabis M&A News Markets Interview Best of Benzinga


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