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  Rhode Island Will License Medical Marijuana Shops
Posted by CN Staff on June 22, 2009 at 06:28:11 PT
By Ryan Grim, Huffington Post 
Source: AlterNet 

medical USA -- The Rhode Island legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto of a medical marijuana law Tuesday afternoon by an overwhelming margin, paving the way for state-licensed medical marijuana shops to begin operating. The House voted 68-0 for the pot measure and the senate moved it minutes later by a 35-3 count.

Once the law takes effect, the state will be the first in the nation to have one officially licensed nonprofit center selling marijuana. Over time, the state will license further nonprofit dispensaries.

The bill got a boost in the state after a much publicized incident in which a pot dealer beat up a medical marijuana patient. Proponents of the bill argued that patients shouldn't have to deal with unregulated, unlicensed drug dealers, but deserved a more orderly system.

In March, New Mexico became the first state to grant a state license to a medical marijuana producer.

"We are seeing a historic shift to allowing state-licensed, regulated medical marijuana production and distribution," said Karen O'Keefe of the Marijuana Policy Project after the vote.

Legislators in Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are considering similar legislation. Arizona and Maine voters may soon vote on similar initiatives.

The Rhode Island bill's passage was only made possible by President Obama's announcement that his Justice Department would not raid medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they were following the law.

California's dispensaries operate legally in the state but don't have the kind of exclusive state license that the new Rhode Island shop will have.

Jesse Stout, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, which led the charge on the bill, said that state Rep. Tom Slater's announcement Saturday that he would himself begin using medical marijuana to treat his rapidly advancing cancer swayed the General Assembly. Slater, a Democrat, is the bill's sponsor.

The Rhode Island Department of Health will license one nonprofit "compassion center" in 2010 and two more in 2011. They will grow and distribute marijuana and provide it to an unlimited number of patients.

Source: AlterNet (US)
Author: Ryan Grim, Huffington Post
Published: June 22, 2009
Copyright: 2009 Independent Media Institute
Contact: letters@alternet.org
Website: http://www.alternet.org/
URL: http://alternet.org/drugreporter/140764

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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 22, 2009 at 08:32:01 PT
Bless you, Rep. Slater!
"Jesse Stout, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, which led the charge on the bill, said that state Rep. Tom Slater's announcement Saturday that he would himself begin using medical marijuana to treat his rapidly advancing cancer swayed the General Assembly. Slater, a Democrat, is the bill's sponsor."

May he have access and good use of the perfect strain of cannabis to keep him going, and going well, for a long, long time more and doing more good things for so many people.

Thank you, and bless you, Rhode Island, for doing the right thing.



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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 22, 2009 at 07:57:52 PT
Rhode Island: Non-Profit Compassion Centers
How Does the 2009 Amendment Change The Medical Marijuana Act?

The Department of Health will license 3 non-profit Compassion Centers to grow and distribute medical marijuana for an unlimited number of patients. One Compassion Center will be licensed in 2010, and two more in 2011. The Department will regulate the Compassion Centers' record-keeping and security. There will be an application fee of $250, and, if the application is accepted, an annual license fee of $5,000.

A Compassion Center:

Must be a non-profit organization;

Must be located at least 500 feet from a school;

Must have good oversight and record-keeping procedures;

Must have alarm and security measures to deter theft;

Must have only Rhode Islanders on their Board of Directors;

Must train employees on confidentiality, ethics, security, and professional conduct;

Can have two locations, one for cultivation and one for distribution;

Cannot dispense over 2.5 oz. or 12 plants to any patient within 15 days;

Cannot possess more than the total oz./plants possession limits of its patients.

Complete Info: http://ripatients.org/Home/cc09/

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Comment #1 posted by rchandar on June 22, 2009 at 07:29:52 PT:

Rhode Island
Excellent, excellent news.

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