Your Guide to Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Any Rhode Island resident with a qualifying medical condition can obtain a medical marijuana card that will grant them access to cannabis from dispensaries, also known as compassion centers. Such qualifying conditions include glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, wasting syndrome, cachexia, and muscle spasms.
As a cardholder, you can obtain high-quality medical cannabis cultivated under optimal growing conditions. Medical marijuana is a valuable form of symptom management for people who experience health conditions that alter their functional ability and compromise their quality of life.
Dispensaries adhere to rigorous health and safety standards to ensure you can only obtain safe and effective cannabis products. Read on to familiarize yourself with Rhode Island dispensaries, learn what to expect during a visit, and understand how to select the best medical marijuana products for you.
Where Can You Buy Rhode Island Medical Marijuana?
There are six medical marijuana dispensaries located throughout Rhode Island. Those participating in the state’s medical marijuana program can shop at all of them. These locations include:
- Aura of Rhode Island in Central Falls
- Mother Earth Wellness in the Pawtucket
- Greenleaf Compassion Center in Portsmouth
- Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence
- RISE Dispensary in Warwick
- Sweetspot in South Kingstown
Calling ahead to verify dispensary hours and policies will save you time by ensuring you're prepared for your dispensary visit before arriving. Dispensaries offer deals for new medical marijuana patients, as well as seasonal promotions and loyalty programs. Most cannabis dispensaries also provide curbside pickup and delivery.
While adult-use marijuana sales began on 12/1/2022, purchases are limited to one ounce and subject to a 10% cannabis tax in addition to the normal state and local sales taxes. Medical patients only pay sales tax and can select from a wider product line than recreational customers.
The state plans to issue up to 33 additional licenses for dispensaries, but the timeline is subject to change by the Cannabis Control Board.
What’s it Like Buying Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island?
Dispensaries focus on patient comfort and convenience while complying with all applicable state laws. The compassion centers are like a hybrid pharmacy and convenience store. When you arrive, you check in at a registration desk, have your medical marijuana card verified, and then enter the showroom.
Typically, you will meet with a dispensary representative during your first visit to review your medical condition. This consultation allows you to ask questions about dosing, strains, consumption methods, and safety.
The products are displayed securely behind a counter. Dispensary staff members will talk to you about the selection and assist you in making a decision.
Rhode Island law limits medical purchases to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of usable cannabis or its equivalent per 15-day period. Purchases are logged and tracked in an electronic system to verify compliance. The 15-day purchase period is a set window rather than a rolling scale.
Tips for Purchasing Medical Marijuana Products
Rhode Island dispensaries sell flowers for smoking, pre-rolls, concentrates, edibles, topical applications, tinctures, vape products, and even CBD products. Different forms have different cannabis content. The packaging will list the amount of usable cannabis, making it easier to track your 70-gram limit.
As a qualified patient, the best way to maximize the benefits of medical marijuana is by talking with dispensary staff. Tell them about your symptoms and your medical marijuana treatment goals. They can then make recommendations about which types of consumable and/or strains of cannabis are best suited to your situation.
Each person's response to marijuana is different because of their unique body chemistry. In general, Sativa strains cause more psychological and emotional effects. They energize and uplift, making them effective for patients with depression, lethargy, and trouble focusing.
Indica strains create physical effects associated with calming and soothing. Many patients use them for pain, insomnia, and nerve problems.
Dispensaries also sell hybrid strains that offer dual effects. Depending on your experience using cannabis, it's best to start with small doses at long intervals and then gauge your response. Over time, you can observe how your symptoms respond and make the necessary adjustments to your dosage.
Need Help Applying for a Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card?
The Sanctuary can answer questions about your eligibility and the rules that govern the state of Rhode Island’s program. Our staff can then connect you with a compassionate doctor who can confirm that you have a qualifying condition and issue you an MMJ certification.
Once you’re certified, we can advise you on the documentation needed for your application and help you navigate the submission process. With proper preparation, you can secure approval in as little as five days after you apply. You'll then be able to start visiting Rhode Island dispensaries and purchasing adult-use cannabis.
Contact us today to learn more.