Announcement expected on medical marijuana dispensary licenses

March 15th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

PROVIDENCE — The Health Department is expected to announce Tuesday the selection of up to three applicants to open the first medical-marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island.

Health Department spokeswoman Annemarie Beardsworth did not have a specific time when the decision would be finalized and released to the public. The decision was originally set for a week ago, but the department said that it needed additional time to reach its decision.

Rhode Island is one of 15 states, along with the District of Columbia, that has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. It will soon join Maine, Colorado and New Mexico as the only states that have state-regulated dispensaries. Other places, such as California and Montana, have dispensaries, but they are not under state control.

In Rhode Island, 18 applicants are vying for the three licenses to open dispensaries. The Health Department could reject all the applicants or issue licenses to one, two or three of the centers. If the license or licenses are granted, the first dispensary should open in Rhode Island sometime this spring.

W. Zachary Malinowski

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