Friday is the first day of business for the first medical marijuana compassion center in Rhode Island.
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. The 1,600 square foot building houses cultivation and processing facilities as well as the center itself.
Despite state approval for the center, the federal government still classifies marijuana as illegal, said Chris Reilly, a spokesperson for the center.
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.
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.
Two other dispensaries – in Warwick and Portsmouth – are awaiting state approval.
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.
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.