FOSTER – Foster will see its first marijuana compassion center, Green Wave, CC, after winning one of five new medical marijuana dispensary licenses selected in a lottery separating the licenses by region.

Green Wave President Christopher Sands said there are too many moving parts at this time to talk in any detail about the shop. According to Green Wave licensing, the proposed dispensary will be a 2,900-square-foot shop located at 187 Danielson Pike, or just past the Grumpy Cat Cars Auto Sales on Route 6, 175 Danielson Pike.

Since the announcement made last Friday, Oct. 28, Sands said he’s held meetings with attorneys, engineers and architects, but will not have a good idea of a timetable for an opening for another couple of weeks.

“There are a few variables in the works,” he said.

In his license application, Sands said he practiced medicine as a physician assistant with a master’s degree who prescribed licenses through emergency rooms, hospice care suites, medical floors and surgical care units.

Sands runs Medical Cannabis Consultants, opened in 2013, which treats more than 800 patients, and he legally cultivates cannabis for five patients.

Once awarded, the new license owners have nine months to open the dispensaries, and must continue to pay an annual state fee of $500,000.

Sands, who lives in Wakefield, said he’s familiar with the Foster Country Club, and looks forward to getting to know the area better.

Town Councilor Heidi Rogers confirmed that the store is allowed in Foster, and in a zone that allows compassion centers. In 2019, Foster changed its zoning to allow for marijuana sales in preparation for possible recreational marijuana sales passing in the state.

Rogers said she feels the presence of dispensary will benefit Route 6, which has long suffered from neglect and blight.

“It’s the kind of business that will generate revenue and not pull on town resources. We need some kind of revenue,” she said.

According to her husband, Sen. Gordon Rogers, legislation for recreational marijuana is likely to pass in the state within a year.

Should it pass, marijuana compassion centers will have the option to sell recreational marijuana, Sen. Rogers said. He said the municipality is owed 3 percent of profits in recreational marijuana sales. Rogers noted that he did not approve the Senate’s version of the recreational marijuana bill, and said it needed more oversight between production and distribution.

“It seems like a gold rush going for these licenses at this point,” he said.

In 2019, when drafting Foster’s marijuana zoning ordinances, former Planning Board Chairman Ron Cervasio called Foster the “marijuana capital of the state,” to which Councilor Rogers responded, “Can you refute it?”

The ordinance allows for compassion centers or medical marijuana stores, a medical marijuana emporium where licensed persons are allowed to use or smoke marijuana, and non-residential cooperative cultivation. Residential cultivation is prohibited in all zones except by special use permit in agricultural and residential zones.

Residential caregiver cultivation is allowed in all zoning districts.

Foster is one of five towns in zone three, consisting of Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich and West Greenwich. Four remaining licenses were given to RMI Compassion Center in Woonsocket, Pinnacle Compassion Center in Central Falls, Solar Therapeutics in Cranston and Plant Based Compassion Care in South Kingston.

All are the first dispensary in each city or town. The additional five will bring the state’s total up to eight dispensaries, with businesses in Warwick, Providence, and Portsmouth. In all, 23 companies submitted applications, at $10,000 per application, to the lottery.

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