A High-Stakes Lottery Will Decide The Future Of Marijuana In Rhode Island

All you have to do is be one of six to win the lottery

The rules say that you don’t have to know a guy to enter Rhode Island’s multimillion-dollar medical marijuana business. All you have to do is get lucky and be one of six nonprofits to win a lottery that will take place sometime next year.

But that didn’t stop 28 entities from enlisting a sitting mayor, several former state lawmakers, and a phalanx of prominent lobbyists as they prepared their applications to open six new compassion centers – the places where people can purchase medical marijuana – throughout the state.

It’s a high-stakes competition in which organizations will spend tens of thousands dollars just to apply. And while medical marijuana alone turn a hefty profit, many of the players involved are betting that a more lucrative prize is on the horizon: the complete legalization of marijuana for adults, like in Massachusetts.

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