The state of Rhode Island plans to open up six new medical cannabis dispensaries, adding to the three dispensaries that already exist in Portsmouth, Warwick and Providence, which were launched in 2013 and 2014.
In an effort to promote price competition and improve accessibility for patients, the new cannabis dispensaries will operate in six different locations around the state. The state’s administration has suggested that the six dispensary licenses be awarded through a lottery, in an attempt to keep political influence and favoritism out of the selection process.
Twenty-eight businesses have filed applications for a chance to manage one of the six new medical cannabis dispensaries. Among them is Perfect Union, a cannabis company based in California. Perfect Union has 14 stores located between Sacramento and Los Angeles, and another six stores in New Mexico. The company’s Western stores sell in both the medical and recreational marijuana markets. Perfect Union CEO David Spradin noted that the opportunity to set up shop in the state of Rhode Island is a good venture.
Some of the 28 businesses submitted applications in multiple zones in order to increase their chances of winning a license, which brought the total number of applications to 45.
Many believe that obtaining one of the six licenses to sell medical cannabis in the state would ease the process of being allowed to sell recreational cannabis when and if state legislators eventually allow the sale of adult-use marijuana.
The state’s governor, Gina Raimondo, has called for legalization since 2019. Her most recent plan would have the state contracting with medical cannabis retail stores and also regulating the potency of the cannabis products sold and product prices as well. Revenue would be distributed between the hosting communities, which would receive 10%; store operators, which would receive 29% of the revenue; and the state, which would take the largest share of the revenue at 69%.
The state’s budget officials estimate that the market will bring in roughly $209.6 million in yearly sales and will have approximately 176,388 consumers in the adult-use cannabis market. With regard to medical cannabis, reports made to the Department of Business Regulation show that the state of Rhode Island made $65,190,150 in sales between January and October 2020.
The state’s Department of Business Regulation announced that the lottery would be conducted after the office had reviewed all the license applications. Eligible candidates must meet certain requirements, which include demonstrating that they have local community approval to run a dispensary and also revealing all ownership interests and investors.
Outside of Rhode Island, several companies are distinguishing themselves in the cannabis sector. For example, California-based Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) is among the top producers of USDA-certified organic hemp.
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