Public weighs in on compassion center applications

Providence, RI – Members of the public testified on who should sell medical marijuana in Rhode Island at a public hearing today

It was standing room only in the Health Department's auditorium- everyone waiting to hear testimony on the 18 applicants to open the state's first so called "compassion centers."

Cranston Mayor Alan Fung, State Representatives Doreen Costa and Peter Palumbo, and Providence city Council member Bryan Principe all testified against applicants hoping to open in their cities or towns.

JoAnne Leppanen, the executive director for the Rhode Island Patients Advocacy coalition says that's a shame.

"We are all patients. How many of us are going to get through our lives without debilitating conditions?" she says. "So to say,[not] in my back yard is to turn your back on your neighbors, your friends, and perhaps members of your own family." The Health Department will use the public testimony to select up to three winning applications by next month.

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