Former Pfizer Site in Puerto Rico Leased to Cannabis Company


“We need many types of identical machinery and equipment – strong security systems, clean rooms, testing facilities, laboratories.”

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Vireo Health International, Inc. leased a former Pfizer site in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico to set up cannabis cultivation and processing operations several years ago, apparently one of the first weed companies to recognize that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.

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Per Fierce Pharma, a Pfizer spokesperson reported that the company had previously sold a site in Cruce Dávila to another company, while a Vireo Health official suggested that pharma facilities are solid options for operations of cannabis.

“We need many of the same types of machinery and equipment – strong security systems, clean rooms, testing facilities, labs,” the spokesperson said in an email to Fierce Pharma.

  1. Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick, NY.  / PHOTO BY HAUNTED NIGHTS EVENTS INSTAGRAM

    This former New York state prison is now a hub for cannabis companies

  2. The North American company grows cannabis in environmentally friendly greenhouses and manufactures pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts in its state-of-the-art laboratories.

    CGOC invests $1 million in US company Vireo Health

  3. Although the property

    Should living in a former drug factory be a concern? Apparently not, as the former grow site is selling for $76,000 above the asking price.

RTM Engineering Consultants notes that for grow and grow facilities, for example, there are strict temperature and humidity requirements, as well as filtration systems to prevent the release of dust or odors.

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Vireo Health International has a physician-led team of over 300 employees who “grow cannabis in environmentally friendly greenhouses, manufacture pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts and sell their products at company-owned dispensaries and to third parties”.

In a press release, Vireo Health said it is always looking for unique opportunities to extend its science-driven approach to broader markets. Beyond leasing the former 40,000 square foot Pfizer facility, the company said it plans to launch six “Green Goods” dispensaries across Puerto Rico in Arecibo, Bayamón, Caguas, Guaynabo, Guayama and Hormigueros. .

Medical marijuana is legal in Puerto Rico.

Among other things, the country Medicinal Cannabis The law “allows the use of medical cannabis on the recommendation of a physician for duly authorized persons with a serious medical condition,” according to JD Supra. These conditions include diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, depression, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, migraine, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and AIDS, according to Americans for Safe Access. .

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That said, recreational cannabis remains illegal, with possession or distribution of any amount of the drug considered a felony punishable by heavy jail time and fines, notes the National Organization for Marijuana Law Reform.

Highlights reports that a pro-cannabis trade group in the country has released analysis that suggests the industry will take five years to mature and “take a trajectory seen in the development of the casino vertical.”

Vireo Health isn’t the first company to transform a space that previously had nothing to do with weed into one that has everything to do with cannabis. And while the switch from drugstore to pot might not seem so far-fetched, other old facilities-turned-weed operations have likely raised a few eyebrows.

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Perhaps the main one is part of a former US prison in California that “grows the very product that caused some prisoners to be locked up there.” BNC News reported last March. Where there were once vegetables, these have given way to weeds.

In the spring of 2021, Evergrow LLC reportedly offered $615,000 for the graffiti-covered former Flint Police Training Academy in the Michigan community. A crumbling structure was apparently not enough to abandon visions of a commercial cannabis cultivation operation.

And a former Central Intelligence Agency office in Michigan was turned into a pot retail store last summer. Although JARS Cannabis reportedly held a medical license for the Ann Arbor store, it planned to add adult-use products to the mix.

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But it’s not just former police and correctional facilities that have caught the attention of cannabis companies.

In July 2021, a former Weetabix factory could have been named the Weedabix Factory for Laughs after a cannabis company expressed interest in turning the building into a giant cannabis farm. The former snack and cereal manufacturing plant in Clinton, Massachusetts, was already home to existing cannabis businesses.

And in early 2021, plans were underway to turn part of PPG Canada’s former factory in Owen Sound, Ontario, which manufactured glass and glass products, into a micro-cultivation facility to grow pot. “craft” cannabis.

In 2020, the National Association of Realtors released research indicating that investors were on a frenzy to buy retail space and warehouses in US states where cannabis is legal for medical and/or adult use.

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A few months earlier, in the fall of 2019, commercial real estate brokerage firm Vancouver Business Brokers announced plans to capitalize on the ever-growing popularity of cannabis.

Of course, some people can get burned in a boiling market when it’s shown that cannabis and real estate don’t make a happy (or legal) couple.

Earlier this year in Australia, three estate agents were among six people charged after police determined rented properties housed illegal cannabis crops and received fraudulent COVID-19 rental assistance payments.

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