PERTH, NEW YORK (WBRE/WYOU-TV) More than 6,000 patients have already registered for Pennsylvania’s new medical marijuana program. By next year, twelve different pot growing and processing facilities are expected to open — and today we got an up close look at how they might work. Eyewitness News reporter Eric Deabill went to New York State — and got an exclusive tour of a center operated by Viero Helat.
From the outside, this building in Fulton County, New York doesn't’look like much — but on the inside — it’s on the cutting edge of the medical marijuana industry.
Vireo Health not only grows cannabis here but turns it into oils and pills for patients to use.
“Our patient stories are why we work here. Hearing back from everyone how much we’ve helped them, it really makes a big difference” Said Kaitlyn Nedo, Operations Manager,
The process starts here in the cultivation area.
Workers essentially take a current marijuana plant and make a clone of it by cutting off just a small piece, giving it light and nutrients and letting it flourish.
The buds or flowers are the most important part of the plant for medicinal purposes.
“From start to finish, it takes us a good four months from the time we make the clone until we have a finished product” noted Chuch Schmitt, Director of Cultivation,
“There’s a strict tracking process for each and every one of these plants. Any product that this company creates can be tracked back to find the exact plant that helped make it”
Once the marijuana is dried and harvested, the buds are ground up in the laboratory and turned into products that can ease the pain of cancer patients and kids with epilepsy.
“Since we test everything, we formulate to specific standards. All of our medications now and a year later will be the same” added Nedo,
The company that owns this facility will be the same one that plans to open a medical marijuana growing and processing facility out of this old clothing recycler in Scranton’s Green Ridge section.
Workers say the process done here in New York will be almost identical to what they are planning for the Electric City.
“We have the model built here and we’re transferring that to Scranton” added Schmitt.
Crews are still trying to get the site on Rosanna Avenue in Scranton ready everything is expected to be done within the next month.