The general assembly has overridden the governor’s veto (see below) and passed legislation allowing the Department of Health to establish as many as three medical marijuana dispensaries. Rhode Island becomes the third state (New Mexico and California) where patients with a prescription can purchase medical marijuana. So what happens next? Jesse Stout, executive director of RIPAC and a key player in this whole initiative, issued this statement.
The new law requires the Department of Health to issue an application form within 90 days for independent non-profit organizations to apply to be a compassion center. Two months later, the Department will hold a hearing to determine the best applicant based on criteria such as patients’ convenience and procedures for record-keeping and security. Two months after that, the Department will issue a license to the best applicant. Finally, the Department will issue two more licenses one year after the first, allowing a final statewide maximum of three non-profit compassion centers.
Congratulations to Mr. Stout, Rep. Thomas Slater, Senator Rhoda Perry and everyone else who kept an open mind and supported this legislation. [ProJo]