The fate of 23 pre-approved companies seeking five medical cannabis dispensary licenses in Rhode Island will be in the hands of a blindfolded former FBI agent on Oct. 29. Russell Griffiths, an economic and policy analyst with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, will have his eyes covered when he picks five numbered balls from a transparent tumbler borrowed from Twin River Casino at 10 a.m. Friday, according to the department’s Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR). A livestream of the lottery will be available via Zoom. The licensing lottery was originally scheduled for early August but was delayed after one of four rejected applicants brought forth an administrative appeal. Overall, the state received 45 applications from 28 companies in December. Four companies did not qualify for the lottery. Instead of further delay, OCR is moving forward with 23 pre-approved companies that have submitted 37 applications for the right to open a dispensary in five zones across the state. A lottery to select a dispensary for a sixth zone in the Newport area will not be held because of the administrative appeal, The Associated Press reported.

Posted Melissa Schiller, Cannabis Business Times, 10/25/2021 11:49:00

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