Medical and PharmaceuticalNewsRegulationsUSCuraleaf Launches First Medical Cannabis Flower Products in New York

America's most valuable pot firm is the first to sell dried flower products in New York, a move one analyst expects will help expand the state's patient base to 400,000 from today's 107,000.
Jared Gnam Jared GnamSeptember 24, 20196 min

Medical marijuana patients are able to purchase dried flower legally for the first time in New York after Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE:CURA) said it launched the product for sale in the state this week.

America’s largest multi-state operator said in a release the “ground flower pods” will be sold under the company’s Curaleaf New York subsidiary at its Long Island dispensary, but they will be available at its all four locations in the state soon.

New York lawmakers failed to legalize recreational cannabis earlier in the year, but Curaleaf’s dried flower move is expected to help further expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

According to Canaccord analyst Matt Bottomley, by adding dried flower New York’s patient base could expand to about 400,000 from the 107,000 listed today. The massive influx of patients could also add an annual revenue opportunity of US$1.2 billion, the analyst said on BNN Bloomberg network.

“Flower is cannabis in its raw form and therefore the most affordable form of cannabis,” said Curaleaf CEO, Joseph Lusardi, in a statement.

“We can increase patient access by providing more affordable products and offering more options for patients in the medical program. We’d like to thank the Department of Health for permitting us to sell vapable flower. We believe it’s an important step toward making natural products available in New York.”

The ground flower pods are made for medical vaporizers and contain 350 milligrams of active cannabinoids, and a total of 700 milligrams per 3.5 gram package, Curaleaf said. The flower will come in Indica and Sativa strains in a 20:1 THC to CBD ratio.

Curaleaf’s dried flower vaporizer: safer than illicit vape products

Since 2016, New York patients have been able to legally access cannabis vapes, tinctures, and oils, but dried flower has remained banned. Curaleaf New York found a loophole to get around the ban by offering the flower pods along with the company’s new Tabletop Vaporizer.

With New York health officials recently issuing a warning on using black market vaping products — amid reports of 530 vape-related lung disorders and eight deaths — Curaleaf’s vaporizer product will be one of the state’s licensed options.

After dozens of New Yorkers have been hospitalized with the same lung illnesses, the state’s health department launched an investigation and found illegal cannabis vape cartridges contained a vitamin E oil additive — a dangerous substance when heated. But state officials haven’t found any additives, nor health issues related to licensed cannabis vape products.

Last month, Curaleaf forecast it would bring in more than US$1 billion in 2020 revenue. Adding thousands of New York patients to its registry will be one way to increase sales to help reach that lofty goal.

By acquiring West Coast cannabis-oil maker Select and Chicago-based Grassroots, the company will be able to record sales from 19 U.S. states.

Massachusetts-based Curaleaf also announced this month it added its seventh dispensary in Arizona, while the company also launched new cannabis tablet products in Florida that are available to medical patients.

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