March, 2011. After a long wait, the decision to operate state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island was announced. The Department of Health selected three applicants, which is the maximum allowed under the state law. The 3 applicants that were selected includes: Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick; The Thomas C. Slate Compassion Center in Providence; and Greenleaf Compassion Center in Portsmouth. Rhode Island is one of four states, among the 15 where medical marijuana is legal, that has state-licensed medicinal cannabis dispensaries.
The selections were made from among 18 applicants (nine of the 18 applicants were qualified to open dispensaries in Rhode Island, but state law limited them to selecting a maximum of three centers) which proposed dispensary operations of various sizes, mostly in metropolitan areas, to serve the state’s growing number of licensed medical marijuana patients. Until now, patients in Rhode Island have had to either grow the cannabis themselves or connect with a licensed individual grower or caregiver. The name of the other six approved applicants were not disclosed.
The Health Department was originally scheduled to select three dispensaries to license back in the summer of 2010, but rejected every one of an earlier group of applicants. The department collected the 18 new applications last fall. It is expected to bring in big money and many patients to the Rhode Island dispensaries.