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State Lists Names of Compassion Center Applicants
Posted by CN Staff on June 04, 2010 at 05:43:21 PT
By W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal Staff Writer 
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, RI  --  The state Health Department released the names of more than a dozen businesses on Thursday that have applied to establish Rhode Islandís first compassion center, or store, to sell marijuana to patients registered in the medicinal-marijuana program.No other details were released yesterday because the applications submitted in May are under review, but Annemarie Beardsworth, Health Department spokeswoman, said that each one will be posted on the departmentís Web site next week.
The applications include information on the location for each proposed center, the description of the building where the marijuana would be grown, the companyís business plan, names of each entityís principal officers, members of the board of directors and the names of prospective employees.What wonít be public is the security plan each applicant was required to provide and the address of marijuana growing locations that are separate from the compassion center location.One of the applicants is Dr. Todd E. Handel, a pain-management psychiatrist who oversees the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of people with sports injuries. Earlier this year, Handel told The Sunday Journal that he had signed 31 applications for patients seeking approval to join the stateís medical-marijuana program.Handelís medical office is at 1145 Main St., in Pawtucket. The name of his proposed business that he submitted to the Health Department is University Compassion Center.Itís unclear whether the compassion center would operate from Handelís medical office. He could not be reached Thursday for comment.Another applicant is Alternative Therapeutics Inc. and its lawyer, Marc B. Gersacov, said on Thursday that the proposed compassion center has about a dozen people lined up to run the business in Warwick. He declined to name the principals, but he said they include licensed caregivers, master gardeners to grow the marijuana and others with a background in finance. He said that a retired state trooper would be in charge of security.On June 29, the Health Department will host a public hearing at its headquarters, 3 Capitol Hill, for the public to raise questions about the applicants or the facilities that they hope to open. Beardsworth said the questions will be limited to issues surrounding the proposed centers.The public input will be used by the department in evaluating each of the applications, Beardsworth said.The Health Department has plans to allow the establishment of up to three compassion centers.Beardsworth said that department officials have yet to closely review the applications. She said that itís possible that all applicants could be approved or rejected. The department is treating the compassion center applications as requests for proposals, the details of which are public under state law.Health officials said they hope to select the first operator of a compassion center on July 29. After that, itís up to the operator to determine when the center could open for business.The purpose of the compassion centers, which are supposed to run on a non-for-profit basis, is to expand the number of places where patients, with a physicianís approval, can get marijuana to treat a variety of illnesses including back pain, nausea and seizures. As of Thursday, Health Department figures show that the number of patients has climbed to 1,728 and caregivers to 1,360.Beardsworth said that the caregivers will continue their business alongside the compassion center or centers.The medical-marijuana program was launched in 2006 and allows licensed patients to possess up to 12 marijuana plants or the equivalent of 2.5 ounces of marijuana at any one time. They may also select up to two caregivers to supply the drugs. Beardsworth said that the amount of marijuana compassion center operators would be allowed to grow would depend on the number of licensed customers. For example, if a center had 100 customers with state medical marijuana patient cards, it would be allowed to grow 1,200 plants and possess up to 250 ounces of marijuana at any one time.The medical marijuana program has not been trouble-free. Several licensed caregivers and users have been arrested for growing more than the amount permitted in the program.In April, a Providence man, Matthew A. Salvato, 22, was charged with two marijuana and gun offenses after he killed an intruder in his apartment on Chalkstone Avenue. He has not been charged with any crimes stemming from the fatal shooting, but the authorities said that he illegally possessed more than 100 marijuana plants. Salvato had a caregiverís license that limited him to 24 marijuana plants.Supporters of the program say that the compassion centers may be a better and safer option for patients. But state police and Providence police say the centers could be easy prey for criminals to steal the drugs.Key Points: Compassion Center ApplicantsAlternative Therapeutics, Inc.Breakwater Herbal Compassion Center LLCCommunity Care Health and WellnessGreenleaf Compassion Center, Inc.Innovative Solutions for Non-Profits, Inc.Marimed Caregivers, Inc.Ocean State Organics, LLCRhode Island Compassion CenterRhode Island Institute for Medical Marijuana, Inc.Rhode Island Medical Marijuana DispensaryRhode Island Medical Caregivers, LLCSummit Medical Compassion Center, Inc.Thomas C. Slater Compassion CenterUniversity Compassion CenterSource: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author: W. Zachary Malinowski, Journal Staff Writer Published:  June 4, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: http://www.projo.com/ URL: http://drugsense.org/url/CDG7YorqCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/mdical.shtml 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 04, 2010 at 08:10:50 PT
News From The LA Times Blog
Judge Could Block L.A.'s Medical Marijuana Crackdown***June 4, 2010Los Angeles -- In a final-hour bid to stop a new Los Angeles medical marijuana ordinance, lawyers representing dispensaries and patients will ask a judge on Friday morning to issue temporary restraining orders to keep city officials from enforcing the ordinance when it takes effect Monday.The city faces 16 lawsuits involving 64 dispensaries and one filed by medical marijuana patients in Los Angeles County Superior Court that seek to overturn the law. The ordinance, which took the City Council more than two years to draft, would force about 450 dispensaries to close.Judge James C. Chalfant, who has been critical of the cityís handling of the issue, will rule on the motions. In a hearing last month on similar requests from four dispensaries, he almost granted an order that would have barred the city from enforcing the ordinance against them.But Chalfant ended up transferring the cases to Judge David P. Yaffe, who then denied the requests. The lawyers appearing before Chalfant on Friday were scheduled to appear Thursday before Yaffe, but they used their right to a peremptory challenge to bump him from the cases. Eric Shevin, who represents a dozen patients who sued last week, is seeking an order that would keep the city from enforcing the ordinance against any dispensary, saying that it would unconstitutionally restrict access to medical marijuana.URL: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/judge-could-block-las-medical-marijuana-crackdown.html
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