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Under New Bill, Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Would Double

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Just before Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened four years ago, fewer than 5,000 people in the state were registered patients.

Since then, the number of medical marijuana patients in Rhode Island has more than tripled, to 17,757. Approximately one out of every 45 adults in the state is now a patient.

So does the Ocean State need more than the three dispensaries currently allowed by law?

“It’s based on simple economics, supply and demand,” said Sen. Stephen Archambault, the Smithfield Democrat championing the push in the Senate to expand the number of dispensaries.

“People are going to be able to get this drug from compassion centers more easily and at a decreased cost” if the bill passes, Archambault said.

There’s a contentious, politically charged battle underway on Smith Hill as lawmakers head into the homestretch of the session. In play is a proposal to double the number of dispensaries, known in Rhode Island as “compassion centers,” to six. [Read more at Providence Journal]

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