R.I. to sell medical marijuana

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Three dispensaries in Rhode Island could begin selling marijuana to medical patients with prescriptions and registration cards as soon as January 2013.

Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick and Greenleaf Compassionate Care in Portsmouth will soon be able to submit “registration to operate applications” to the Rhode Island Health Department, following the completion of the final stage of revisions to the regulations on compassionate care centers, the Providence Journal reported.

Though the first medical marijuana legalization bill was passed in the General Assembly more than six years ago and enacted in 2009, Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 only signed the legislation approving the development of compassion centers last May.

Last year, Chafee was one of the first governors to openly challenge the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal regulations define the drug as a substance “with high potential for abuse,” and Rhode Island law will not exclude the compassion centers from federal raids or penalties.

But the most recent revisions to state law will restrict the dispensaries from maintaining a stock of more than 1,500 ounces and 99 mature plants.

Representatives from Greenleaf and Slater told the Journal they expect to serve about 5,000 patients once their applications are approved by the Health Department.