Rhode Island sales of medical marijuana hit new highs

By: The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – State regulators say sales of medical marijuana in Rhode Island are continuing to hit new highs.

Regulator Norman Birenbaum says Rhode Island’s three medical marijuana dispensaries are on pace to sell about $56 million worth of medicinal pot in fiscal 2019. The Providence Journal reports it is a 46.6 percent increase over sales in fiscal year 2018.                

The list of qualifying conditions to enter the medical marijuana program is short but broad, listing symptoms like severe pain or muscle spasms. Birenbaum says regulators remain concerned there are ways to “abuse the program.”

Last year, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s attempt to restrict certain doctors from participating in the program failed.               

Regulators predict they will collect over $5 million in taxes on medical marijuana in the current fiscal year.

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