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.
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.
Rhode Island authorities are considering a new application for permission to open a medical marijuana consultancy. B & B Consulting bills itself as a first-of-its-kind medical marijuana "evaluation center."
Rhode Island saw its first medical marijuana festival Sunday. It was held in Providence in a parking lot on Kinsley Avenue. About two dozen vendors sold marijuana paraphernalia and growing equipment. It was sponsored by the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, a group that fought to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Visiting the festival was Peter Benson of North Kingstown. Paralyzed in a bicycle accident, he takes marijuana to ease the pain of muscle spasms.
To recommend, or not to recommend, medicinal marijuana? That's the question recently posed in a New England Journal of Medicine interactive online poll. To get a feel for physicians' opinions, NEJM presented readers with a fictional clinical situation. Here's the scenario:
In April, Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary – the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center - opened for business in Providence. This weekend, the second is scheduled to open in Portsmouth. We visited the Greenleaf compassion center as workers rushed to finish the stylish interior.
The marijuana might be medical, but the retail space is anything but.
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.
RI's former Attorney General is in Brazil helping law enforcement looking into a deadly nightclub fire. RI and MA are working out how to best regulate centers which dispense medical marijuana. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast. Also a special interview by Ian Donnis with US Attorney Peter Neronha.
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