The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mike Meno, MPP director of communications 202-905-2030 or

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


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.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the number one organization in the U.S. legalizing cannabis. We passed 13 medical cannabis laws in the past 15 years, and we ran winning campaigns in eight of the 11 legalization states. No organization in the movement has changed as many cannabis laws, impacted as many patients and consumers, created as many new markets, or done more to end cannabis prohibition in the U.S. than MPP.