Search Results: malinowski (7)

Graphic: RIPAC

​The head of Rhode Island’s largest medical marijuana advocacy group said she is still optimistic that cannabis dispensaries will be open in the state in the not-too-distant future.

JoAnne Lepannen, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), said on Tuesday that she has carefully reviewed “Seeking to Authorize Marijuana for Medical Use,” the two-page memo issued last week by the Justice Department, reports W. Zachary Malinowski at The Providence Journal.
Lepannen said she sees a silver lining in the document because there is no specific threat by federal authorities to prosecute state employees who are associated with the licensing or oversight of marijuana dispensaries.
“I think there is a ray of hope here,” Lepannen said. “We have to read into this letter what [the federal government]didn’t say. That speaks volumes.”
The memo does warn that those who “facilitate” large-scale medical marijuana production (presumably, that wording was used to intimidate landlords, as well as actual cultivators) are violating the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Photo: Reuters
Attorney General Eric Holder: “We are in the process of working [on]these issues”

​U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday that the Justice Department will work with governors and other state officials to reach a “satisfactory resolution” to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in states with medicinal cannabis programs.

“We are in the process of working [on]these issues with the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island and other U.S. Attorneys across the country,” Holder said, reports W. Zachary Malinowski at The Providence Journal. “My hope is that sometime in the not too distant future … it will be addressed.”

Photo: Ocean State Cannabis
Pastor Erik Johansson: “They killed all our plants in violation of state law”

​​The pastor of a Rhode Island parish was indicted May 11 on federal charges of conspiracy and cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants — in his church.

Erik Johansson, 48, an ordained minister for Prospect Ministries Inc., was arrested last September after police in Warwick, R.I., executed a search warrant at the church, reports W. Zachary Malinowski at The Providence Journal.
The cops confiscated 183 marijuana plants in several different grow rooms, $565 in cash and other supplies and items used to grow marijuana. Officers said they also discovered an extensive ventilation system to disperse heat and carbon dioxide.

Graphic: Potspot 411

​A long-awaited decision was announced Tuesday afternoon, with the Rhode Island Department of Health selecting three applicants, the maximum allowed under state law, to operate state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.

Applicants selected were Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick; The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence; and Greenleaf Compassion Center in Portsmouth, reports W. Zachary Malinowski of The Providence Journal.
Top officials at the Department of Health determined that nine of the 18 applicants were qualified to open dispensaries in Rhode Island, but state law limited them to selecting a maximum of three centers. Health Department spokeswoman Annemarie Beardsworth refused to name the other six approved applicants, saying that was “protected information.”

Photo: Kathy Borchers/The Providence Journal
A large crowd turned out Monday morning for public hearings on the 18 applications for licenses to operate medical marijuana compassion centers in Rhode Island.

​A large crowd turned out for the Rhode Island Department of Health’s hearing Monday morning to gauge what the public has to say about the 18 applications for licenses to operate medical marijuana dispensaries, or compassion centers as they are known in the state.

The hearing kicked off with three elected officials expressing strong opposition to the compassion centers. Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung, Rep. Peter Palumbo (D-Cranston), and Rep. Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) all expressed “grave concerns” about the proposed dispensaries, reports The Providence Journal.
Fung, who serves as public safety director for Cranston, said that Congress still characterizes marijuana as “a dangerous drug,” and he doesn’t want a compassion center in his city.

Graphic: Turn To 10

​The Rhode Island Health Department is now once again taking applications from those interested in opening medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and officials said they are hoping to avoid problems they faced with the first round of proposals — which were all turned down.

The new round of dispensary applications (the form can be downloaded here) will be open until noon on November 12, and those interested can submit their plans to operate compassion centers that sell marijuana to patients in the state-run program, reports W. Zachary Malinowski of The Providence Journal.
“Our goal has been, and continues to be, assuring the safest and most effective compassion center for patients and the public,” said Dr. David R. Gifford, Health Department director. “We want to keep this process moving.”

Graphic: Maine.gov
Safe Harbor Maine is expected to open early next year in Biddeford, becoming New England’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

​Until two weeks ago, it appeared that Rhode Island would open New England’s first marijuana dispensary. Now it looks as if Maine will be doing the honors.

One of the two will be the first state in New England to open a compassion center to sell cannabis to patients registered in state-authorized programs.

“It appears our neighbor to the north will beat Rhode Island to the punch,” concedes W. Zachary Malinowski of The Providence Journal.
A spokesman for the Maine Health Department said the first of eight dispensaries across the state should open for business soon after January 1, 2011. Licenses have been awarded over the past two months to operate dispensaries in each of the state’s eight public health districts, according to the Health Department’s Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services.
Safe Harbor Maine Inc., a nonprofit organization, hopes to be the first to open early next year in Biddeford, Maine, not far from the New Hampshire state line. The business will probably serve fewer than 100 patients in the first year, according to Glenn Peterson, Safe Harbor’s CEO.