PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On the marijuana front, bills have come streaming into the legislative hopper this week to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries and raise the number of plants that authorized marijuana cultivators can grow.
The bill likely to set off the hottest debate between those who currently have a monopoly on Rhode Island’s medical marijuana business – and those who want in – would double the numbers of state-licensed dispensaries in the state, also known as compassion centers, from three to six.
Introduced by Rep. Scott Slater, whose late father led the drive to legalize medical marijuana in Rhode Island, the bill also says that “any new compassion centers approved by the [Department of Health] after January 1, 2016, shall be disbursed geographically … in Providence, Bristol, Newport, or Washington counties, with no more than one new compassion center in each county.”

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