Corvese to file bill making pot providers’ identities public

Corvese to file bill making pot providers’ identities public

PROVIDENCE – North Providence Rep. Arthur Corvese says he’s preparing to file legislation to make public the names of all providers of medical marijuana licensed in Rhode Island.

The planned bill is aimed at improving transparency, allowing neighborhoods to know whether marijuana is being produced nearby, or whether someone producing it is doing so legally under the auspices of the medical marijuana program.

“The list of other providers who are licensed by the state, from pharmacies to something as innocuous as barbers and hairdressers, is a matter of public record,” said Corvese, of House District 55, North Providence. “But our current medical marijuana law doesn’t provide the same transparency for medical marijuana providers, even though there is significant potential for illegal use of the product they are providing.

“If we are going to legally recognize marijuana as a medicine, we should subject its distribution to the same standards as other medicinal substances and allow the public to know who is licensed as a medical marijuana provider,” he added.

As of Oct., 2, 820 peopled were licensed as caregivers under Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program. Each can legally grow and provide marijuana to up to five patients, and may hold up to as many as 24 mature marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana total for his or her patients.

While that amount has, up to now, allowed caregivers to sell excess to the state’s three licensed compassion centers, it has also wound up on the black market, said Corvese, which recently led to emergency regulations that ban caregivers from selling to dispensaries and instead create a new class of “cultivators” who can supply dispensaries.