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Rhode Island Lawmakers Say No More New Dispensaries


Rhode Island won’t see more medical marijuana dispensaries this year, but patients may notice their preferred dispensary getting a little busier. The state is now a reciprocating state, meaning that medical marijuana cardholders from other states can be served in Rhode Island.

All three of the state’s dispensaries say that they’ve served nonresidents, Governing reports. The reasoning for allowing nonresident cardholder sales was to ensure that those visiting Rhode Island have access to their medicine. Summit Medical Compassion Center says most of the nonresidents they’ve served have come from Massachusetts.

Greenleaf has also helped nonresidents. Their location is rather close to Newport, a tourist destination.

Guidelines for serving out-of-state patients were issued in July by the Department of Business Regulation. Each medical marijuana card must be verified to be valid. A second form of photo ID must also be presented. Nonresidents are required to fill out a form for entry into the state’s database. This helps track transactions as nonresidents are only permitted to purchase 2.5-ounces every 15 days.

Regulators are looking into how to make delivery from dispensaries to patients an option. The state needs a sufficient tracking system in place first. Another hurdle for delivery service is how patients would pay for their medication if they do not have cash on-hand since the dispensaries can’t accept debit cards.