compassion centers en House Committee Considers Bills to Legalize Pot, Expand Medical Marijuana <p>State lawmakers are scheduled to consider several marijuana-related bills this evening. At issue is expanding access to medical marijuana and, once again, legalizing the drug for anyone over the age of 21.</p><p>Seven marijuana-related bills are before the House Committee on Judiciary. One would legalize marijuana for all adults, regulating it like alcohol and taxing sales. That’s been proposed before and failed, but other states have since legalized it.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:51:32 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 32151 at For-Profit Medical Marijuana Consultancy Applies for License <p>Rhode Island authorities are considering a new <a href="">application </a>for permission to open a medical marijuana consultancy. B &amp; B Consulting bills itself as a first-of-its-kind medical marijuana &quot;evaluation center.&quot;</p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:00:22 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 22720 at First Medical Marijuana Festival in RI Held in Providence <p>Rhode Island saw its first medical marijuana festival Sunday.&nbsp; It was held in Providence in a parking lot on Kinsley Avenue.&nbsp; About two dozen vendors sold marijuana paraphernalia and growing equipment.&nbsp; It was sponsored by the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, a group that fought to legalize medical marijuana in the state.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p>Visiting the festival was Peter Benson of North Kingstown. Paralyzed in a bicycle accident, he takes marijuana to ease the pain of muscle spasms.</p> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 12:26:13 +0000 Flo Jonic 17706 at First Medical Marijuana Festival in RI Held in Providence First Medical Marijuana Center Opens in Rhode Island <p>Friday is the first day of business for the first medical marijuana compassion center in Rhode Island.</p><p>There was a line out the door of the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, on opening day for the first medical marijuana dispensary here in Rhode Island.&nbsp; The 1,600 square foot building houses cultivation and processing facilities as well as the center itself.</p><p>Despite state approval for the center, the federal government still classifies marijuana as illegal, said Chris Reilly, a spokesperson for the center.</p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 18:43:55 +0000 John Bender 13850 at State's First Pot Dispensary to Open in Two Weeks <p>Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open two weeks from today. The state health department has approved the permit for the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center.&nbsp;</p><p>The facility plans to grow its own marijuana but the first batch of medicine will be purchased from growers who participate in the state’s medical marijuana program. That’s because Slater wasn’t allowed to have any marijuana on hand while it awaited its final permits.</p><p>Two other dispensaries – in Warwick and Portsmouth – are awaiting state approval.</p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 13:44:16 +0000 Flo Jonic 13106 at First Medical Marijuana Compassion Center Certified <p>The Rhode Island Department of Health has issued the state's first certificate to operate to a medical marijuana retail store. The Thomas C. Slater compassion center must tell the department when it expects to begin selling marijuana to patients who qualify. But today's announcement means the center can officially open for business.</p><p>Thousands of patients with qualifying medical conditions have registered to be able to buy the drug. They don't need a prescription but do need a doctor to certify they're eligible.<br>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 17:48:20 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 13058 at Mass. docs want tighter controls on medical marijuana <p>In Rhode Island, medical marijuana is already legal, through people who are so-called “<a href="">caregivers</a>” selling to patients. The state has established three “compassion centers” that haven’t opened yet. In Massachusetts, regulators are still considering how to implement the law. Doctors there want tighter controls.</p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:58:54 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 10535 at Compassion center regulations closer to final <p>News from the RI Dept. of Health from spokeswoman Dara Chadwick about medical marijuana. They’re close to finalizing the regulations for compassion centers. She writes that “…one more review meeting will be held to finalize. After that, the regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State’s office.”</p><p>The three approved applicants must then submit their “Registration to Operate a Medical Marijuana Compassion Center.”</p><p>Meanwhile, a lawsuit has just been filed accusing the Dept. of reversing course, without warning, on who can prescribe medical marijuana.</p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 8281 at Therapeutic value of medical marijuana <p>Science Friday is airing right now (the 2 o’clock hour on Friday) on Rhode Island Public Radio. (<a href="">Listen </a>now.) The topic is the <a href="">medical value of marijuana</a>; a federal appeals court is set to hear arguments about its value next week. Host Ira Flatow is talking to an oncologist and a microbiologist about it. Fascinating.</p> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 8283 at