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Rhode Island to Hold Hearings on Medical Marijuana Compassion Center Applications
Rhode Island Moves to Expand Patient Access Through Non-Profit Distribution Centers, While Patients in Nearby States Continue to Suffer Without Effective Relief
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - June 28 - Rhode Island's department of health will hold public hearings tomorrow to review and receive comments on 15 applicants to open the state's first medical marijuana compassion centers, which will operate as nonprofit entities to safely and securely distribute medical marijuana to qualified patients in the state. According to recently released figures, Rhode Island has 1,562 medical marijuana patients who are currently required to grow their own medicine or have caregivers grow it for them. State officials plan to open up to three compassion centers to dispense medicine to qualified patients and improve their access.
WHAT: Public hearings on applicants to operate compassion centers in Rhode Island
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Department of Health auditorium, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, Rhode Island
If necessary, a continuation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30, at the same time and location. Any applicants who are granted a compassion center license will be required to pay a $2,500 licensing fee. The health department is expected to announce the first grant recipients in about a month. Once applicants are approved, Rhode Island will join New Mexico and Colorado as medical marijuana states that have state-licensed dispensary systems. Similar regulated dispensary programs are planned to be implemented soon in Maine, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. A bill that would create a dispensary system in Vermont passed through three committees this legislative session, but didn't receive a floor vote.
Since 1996, 14 states and the District of Columbia passed medical marijuana laws. New medical marijuana legislation was introduced in more than a dozen additional states this year, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Delaware.