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Photo by Angela Matua/QNS
Photo by Angela Matua/QNS
Veterans and others with PTSD are now allowed to participate in the state's medical marijuana program.

Vireo Health of New York, a medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Elmhurst in January 2016, will start making home deliveries to patients on April 21.

Located at 89-55 Queens Blvd., it is one of five dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana in the state and the first to be approved for home deliveries. Vireo Health employees will deliver products to Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and parts of Suffolk County. It’ll later expand to Westchester, the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

“We’re excited to make history tomorrow with New York City and Long Island’s first-ever state-approved medical marijuana deliveries,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York. “New York’s medical marijuana program now includes a wide array of patients and our home delivery program is designed to not only serve those patients who are home-bound or have trouble visiting a dispensary but also those who will appreciate its convenience.”

Started to help homebound patients with chronic pain and life threatening and debilitating diseases such as cancer and ALS, the medical marijuana “from our greenhouse to your front door” home delivery program was designed with input from security experts, pharmacists and physicians.

The company will also comply with the seed-to-sale model used in Colorado. Legislation passed in 2014 makes it mandatory for medical marijuana dispensaries in New York to produce and package their products and operate the dispensaries. This way, the products are easier to track and it becomes more difficult for black market operators to purchase or sell marijuana.

Deliveries will be made by at least two employees and in company owned vehicles that are outfitted with GPS tracking devices. Vireo Health of New York dispenses medical marijuana in three forms, including capsules filled with cannabis extract and coconut oil, a liquid form for those who have trouble swallowing and a vapor form similar to electronic vaporizers.

The marijuana is grown in a 21,000-square-foot building in Fulton County. Vireo Health of New York also operates dispensaries in White Plains, Binghamton and Albany. Patients can register for the home delivery program online and use the coupon code REGONLINE to receive a $10 discount off their first online order.

Prices for each form range by dose but can cost between less than $100 to more than $300.

As of April 19, 965 practitioners have registered for the New York State Medical Marijuana Program, and 16,992 patients have been certified by their practitioners to received medical marijuana, according to the Department of Health. An additional five companies will be verified to receive a license for distribution over the next two years.

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