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Vireo Health International Receives Patent For Tobacco With Cannabinoid Additives

Alex Oleinic

Vireo Health International (OTC: VREOF) said Thursday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for its patent application for less-harmful tobacco products infused with cannabinoids.

What Happened

The patent is titled "Tobacco Products with Cannabinoid Additives and Methods for Reducing the Harm Associated with Tobacco Use" and was filed in March 2017. The company said it's a novel application of cannabis that invoves carefully formulated cannabinoids used as harm-reducing agents in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco. 

The potential benefits of cannabinoid additives in tobacco products include the reduction of irritation, inflamation and carcinogenicity. 

Why It's Important

In 2017, 14 percent of U.S. adults smoked cigarettes. Tobacco use is one of the main causes of preventable diseases in the U.S.,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-related illnesses in the U.S. cost the economy over $300 billion a year, including $170 billion in direct medical care for adults. 

"This patent is a component of our strategy to disrupt the tobacco industry and help save lives. As a physician, I am passionate about finding ways to use cannabis to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco," Vireo CEO Kyle Kingsley, M.D., said in a statement. 

"We look forward to collaborating with research institutions and tobacco companies committed to developing less harmful tobacco products." 

What's Next

Vireo said it plans to use the newly patented technology to work with research institutions and tobacco companies to develop less harmful products. 

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Better Late Than Never: How The Tobacco Industry Could Benefit From Pot

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