Business

Rhode Island picks 5 medical marijuana dispensaries for licenses

(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Five companies have been picked to open new medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island.

The state Department of Business Regulation held a random lottery – complete with a R.I. Lottery balls and a tumbler from Twin River Casino – on Friday to award the coveted marijuana licenses.

The winners are RMI Compassion Center in Woonsocket, Pinnacle Compassion Center in Central Falls, Green Wave Compassion Center in Foster, Solar Therapeutics in Cranston and Plant Based Compassionate Care in South Kingstown.

WPRI-TV reports none of the cities and towns currently have a dispensary. The state’s three existing ones are located in Providence, Warwick and Portsmouth.

State lawmakers approved expanding the number of medical marijuana dispensaries authorized in Rhode Island from three to nine more than two years ago.

The goal is to provide more access to the state’s thousands of medical marijuana patients, as well as increased business for its nearly 70 licensed cannabis growers.

The selected companies will pay a yearly $500,000 licensing fee and must open their dispensaries in nine months.