PROVIDENCE, R.I. (FOX Providence) - The Department of Health has approved three of 18 applicants seeking to become the first compassion centers in Rhode Island.
Once opened, the centers will be permitted under state law to sell medical marijuana to patients.
The three applicants selected are:
- Greenleaf Compassionate Care, Inc. of Portsmouth, R.I.
- Summit Medical Compassion Center of Warwick, R.I.
- The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center of Providence, R.I.
"After a thorough and thoughtful review of all applications, HEALTH determined that these three applicants were best able to offer safe, conveniently located options for patients currently enrolled in the medical marijuana program," said Interim Director of Health Michael Fine. " HEALTH is charged with protecting the health and safety of all Rhode Islanders. We will continue to work with the compassion centers and providers to assure good outcomes for patients."
The General Assembly in 2009 approved the formation of compassion centers. Sponsors said it didn't make sense that lawmakers approved the use of medical marijuana in 2006 but never instituted a process for patients to safely and legally obtain the drug.
This was the second application round . Health officials denied all of the applications the first time around.
Before opening, the compassion centers must follow guidelines set by the health department, including:
- Center must be inspected by HEALTH officials
- Center must receive certificate of occupancy from appropriate municipality
- Staff, board members & volunteers must be registered with HEALTH's medical marijuana program.
In order to purchase medical marijuana from a compassion center, a patient must designate a compassion center as a caregiver. A patient can designate up to two caregivers.
To add or change a caregiver designation, fill out the Patient Information Change form .
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