Health

Medical marijuana sales in Rhode Island climb again

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Sales of medical marijuana in Rhode Island climbed again in the fiscal year that ended in June, the third consecutive year of increased sales.

The Department of Business Regulation estimates Rhode Island’s three dispensaries sold almost $60 million in medical marijuana, up from $53.5 million the year before, the Providence Journal reported.

The department calculates the amount based on revenues from the state’s 4% surcharge imposed on medical marijuana sales.

Last year, state legislators passed a budget that included plans to open six new dispensaries in Rhode Island. Interested applicants can apply to be included in a lottery that will distribute the new licenses.

The six new dispensaries will not be allowed to cultivate their own marijuana initially, unlike the three existing dispensaries. Rhode Island levees a $500,000 licensing fee on dispensaries, one of the highest in the country.

There are currently 20,000 licensed medical marijuana patients in Rhode Island.