WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — After delays, Rhode Island’s third and final medical marijuana dispensary is opening Wednesday in Warwick to approved patients.
Summit Medical Compassion Center on Jefferson Boulevard now joins medical marijuana centers in Portsmouth and Providence. So far, 25 patients are certain to use their services, and another fifty are going through the approval process. Operators anticipate the number growing into the hundreds over the coming months.
Patients must show they have approval from the state of Rhode Island to use medical marijuana, and that Summit is their designated dispensary — before they can even enter the building. Ailments that can potentially use medical marijuana treatment include cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Hepatitis C, or another chronic or debilitating disease with specific symptoms.
Summit attorney Terry Fracassa walked a WPRI.com reporter through the process Monday morning. A patient will enter and go to a service window, and show their permit and prescription. If they need further consultation, “They can take their time asking questions, and becoming educated of the staff,” Fracassa said. In addition to consultation booths, a counter similar to a coffee shop offers 18 strains of leaf marijuana and alternative options which Fracassa said makes up 35% of the medical marijuana industry.
“You have people coming in that have been on opiates, and other prescription drugs that have done havoc on their bodies, and if this is giving them a little bit of relief in terms of dealing with their condition, then you realize the education is taking its roots in the community,” said Fracassa.
State guidelines keep the product safely locked away, and away from public view.
Nobody is allowed inside the dispensary without state approval.