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growing weed in rhode island

That’s a relatively small market, but it could expand as the state weighs legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. Though the particulars are still undecided, the medical marijuana dispensaries could pivot to selling to all adults as an easy first step to full legalization under state law. That makes Friday’s drawing potentially even more significant for the five winners.

The five new dispensaries, authorized by the state two years ago, will add to the state’s current roster of three medical marijuana sellers, which the state calls “compassion centers.” People with conditions ranging from glaucoma to cancer can get medical marijuana cards; some 19,000 Rhode Islanders are registered, and about that same number of people who live out of state can also buy here.

The dispensaries will be in Woonsocket, Central Falls, Foster, Cranston and South Kingstown. They’ll have nine months to set up shop, although the state Office of Cannabis Regulation has said they could be up and running even sooner.

alt=”The Lucy strain of marijuana growing in North Scituate, R.I.” width=”” height=”” />The Lucy strain of marijuana growing in North Scituate, R.I. Craig F. Walker

The new ‘compassion centers’ were picked by lottery with plenty of ceremony

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island picked five new medical marijuana dispensaries in a lottery on Friday, the culmination of a painstaking process that will have major implications for a growing market.

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The lottery took place Friday at a state building in Providence. There wasn’t a lot of pomp, but there was plenty of circumstance: A former FBI special agent in short sleeves and a blindfold reached into a tumbler borrowed from Twin River to pick out balls borrowed from the Rhode Island Lottery. The state took pains to ensure that the selection would truly be random, even having the balls specially weighed at the University of Rhode Island, sealing them with evidence tape and using an evidence log to track its movements leading up to the drawing.

There were dozens of applicants who were up for selection on Friday. They were picked from five different zones to ensure geographical diversity. A sixth zone, which stretches from Pawtucket down the East Bay and into Newport, was halted because one disqualified applicant raised objections that haven’t yet been resolved. That was part of what held up Friday’s lottery; another issue was that the state couldn’t find a contractor to do the picking for them, so they resorted to their own lottery.

Non-residential – no more than 10 ounces of usable marijuana, 48 mature marijuana plants, and 48 seedlings.

Yes, no more than nine

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES OPERATIONAL

Yes, authorizes a patient with a debilitating medical condition, with a registry identification card (or its equivalent), to engage in the medical use of marijuana. Also authorizes a person to assist with the medical use of marijuana by a patient with a debilitating medical condition.

CAREGIVERS

Residential – no more than 10 ounces of useable marijuana, 24 mature marijuana plants, and 24 seedlings.