New England’s Largest Cannabis Business Convention Returns To Rhode Island

Industry event set to draw over 2,000 for the emerging cannabis economy

RHODE ISLAND: NECANN returns to Providence for the 4th annual Rhode Island Cannabis Convention on October 20 & 21, at the RI Convention Center. This event is the final event in NECANN’s six-city schedule for 2018, making it the largest cannabis industry series in the United States.

As Rhode Island continues to edge towards legalizing recreational marijuana, the RI Cannabis Convention will explore how laws might be shaped, what business opportunities are available, and most importantly, how Rhode islanders can ensure that local economies benefit from this multi-billion-dollar industry. There will also be a large focus on the RI Medical Marijuana program, including opportunities and education for prospective patients. The convention will be the largest ever in Rhode Island, drawing more than 2,000 attendees, 125+industry exhibitors and more than 50 local and national speakers.


The two-day convention highlights include former Patriots 2014 Super Bowl champ Eric Martin, a vocal medical marijuana advocate as keynote, as well as sessions on will feature a programming track for Cannabis Business, Careers & Medicine, and a track for DIY Cannabis. Session topics include: Legal & Compliant Cannabiz, Micro-dosing & cooking with Cannabis, how to maximize yields, Medical Cannabis Uses, and much more.

“The goal of this convention is to get everyone in Rhode Island who is in the cannabis industry, or would like to be, in one room for a weekend of networking, education, and relationship building,” said Marc Shepard, co-founder and president of NECANN. “The faster Rhode Island businesses get up and running, and the more local connections they make, the higher the % of cannabis revenue will stay in the state,”

Registration for the event can be purchased online at A limited amount of tickets will also be sold on-site on the days of the shows. The full programming schedule is available online.

Must be 21+ to attend NECAN unless accompanied by an adult. NO smoking, vaping, dabbing, etc. ANYWHERE at the venue.

What:   2018 Rhode Island Cannabis Convention presented by NECANN

When:  Saturday, October 20- Sunday October 21, 2018

Where:Rhode Island Convention Center

Who:    Cannabis enthusiasts, doctors, lawyers, master growers, entrepreneurs, security experts, home growers, etc.

Tickets: One-day general ticket- $20.00 | Two-day admission ticket- $30.00

Police Fine Church Member Who Brought Marijuana To Park

RHODE ISLAND:  Three members of a church that uses marijuana in its ceremonies have been ticketed for possessing a controlled substance at Roger Williams National Memorial.

Police moved in Tuesday and issued $100 citations after members of the West Greenwich-based Healing Church lit a glass pipe they referred to as a chalice.

Anne Armstrong, deaconess of church, says they believe the police action was akin to “storm troopers bursting into a Catholic church while they were distributing Holy Communion.”

Church members have been praying at the memorial this week and have received a permit to hold a service there on Saturday.

Cannabis Sect Worshiping At Providence’s Roger Williams National Memorial

RHODE ISLAND:  Leaders of The Healing Church of West Greenwich, which uses marijuana for prayer and anointing, said they have been holding daily novenas since Thursday at the Roger Williams National Memorial and that they were questioned but not arrested Sunday by a park ranger and Providence police.

Anne Armstrong and Alan Gordon, who live at 99 Hudson Pond Rd., West Greenwich, where the church meets, said they plan to continue the novenas until a service at the federal property at 8 p.m. Saturday, for which they  have a permit from the National Park Service to allow a gathering of up to 100 people.

Cannabis, which they consider “sacred matter,” is part of prayer.

Armstrong said the hour-long novenas, starting at 5:20 p.m. on weekdays, are being held for the nine days before Pentecost, which for most Christians falls on May 24 this year. They have been meeting at the well to a spring that Roger Williams and the first European settlers in Providence used, which has religious significance for Armstrong.


Rhode Island Considers Recreational Marijuana Legalization

RHODE ISLAND:  Rhode Island state lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would end marijuana prohibition and establish a system to regulate and tax the weed.

Marijuana prohibition is an ineffective and wasteful policy, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer,” state Sen. Joshua Miller (D), sponsor of a Senate bill, said in a statement. “The legislature is perfectly capable of creating a system that will work for Rhode Island.”

Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, and recreational marijuana appears to be supported by a majority of the state’s voters. A 2014 poll found 52 percent in favor of changing marijuana laws, mirroring national trends. This is the fourth year that legislation to regulate and tax recreational marijuana has been introduced. It’s unclear whether state lawmakers will support the new measure.

Rhode Island’s First Medical Marijuana Vapor Lounge To Open In Providence

RHODE ISLAND:  Two Johnson & Wales University graduates are ready to open the state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge in downtown Providence Saturday.

Named Elevated,  the small storefront lounge on Peck Street does not intend to sell marijuana, but offer licensed medical marijuana patients a casual space to consume their medication in vapor form, said owner Kevin Cintorino Friday. Pipes and accessories for marijuana “vaping” will be available to rent.

“A lot of landlords don’t let you use medicine in your apartment, so people have to go to their friends’ houses and other places that aren’t convenient,” said Cintorino, who is also a medical marijuana patient. “Here they can relax and talk about what works best with other people who know about it.”

Unlike smoking the drug, vaping marijuana, like vaping tobacco, avoids Rhode Island’s indoor smoking ban.

At Brown University Forum, Proponents Discuss Legalizing Marijuana In Rhode Island

RHODE ISLAND:  A community forum at Brown University Tuesday night on regulating and taxing marijuana was opened with a statistic contending that more African-American men are in prison, jail or on parole or probation than were enslaved in 1850.

The forum, organized by Regulate Rhode Island, a statewide coalition of citizens and organizations dedicated to “ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol,” brought together two panels of four to discuss legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island.

One panelist, state Sen. Joshua Miller, whose district includes part of Cranston and Providence, is the primary sponsor of the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act. He said his motivation is steering people away from overdosing on opiates, which he said claim as many lives as a plane crashing at T.F. Green Airport every year. So far this year in Rhode Island, 188 people have died from accidental drug overdoses.

A brief history of prejudice and prohibition was provided by Dr. David C. Lewis, founder of Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. He traced prohibitions from opium to alcohol to marijuana to prejudices against Asians, Mexicans and African-Americans.

R.I.’s Third Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open In Warwick On Monday

RHODE ISLAND:  Following a series of fits and starts that date to 2011, the state’s third and final dispensary, Summit Medical Compassion Center, is set to open its doors on Monday to sell medical marijuana to patients registered with the state.

The dispensary is a low-key facility in a commercial plaza at 380 Jefferson Blvd., just off Route 95 south.

The Warwick dispensary comes about a year and a half after the first two dispensaries opened, in spring 2013.

The first was the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, at 1 Corliss St., Providence. It was followed about six weeks later by Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center, at 1637 West Main Rd., Portsmouth.



Write-In Candidate Smokes What She Says Is Marijuana In Political Ad

RHODE ISLAND:  A medical marijuana advocate turned write-in candidate for Rhode Island governor has garnered instant social media attention by smoking what she says is pot in a campaign video.

But her media stunt comes with a more serious political message about pot legalization.

“I’m Anne Armstrong, and I’m going to be the next governor of Rhode Island,” she says in the minute-and-a-half-long video. “And I hope that during my tenure, I will be able to dispel a number of misconceptions about cannabis use.”

Armstrong, who said she smokes cannabis every day, uses it for medicinal purposes, and also argues that it helps her focus and communicate with people around her. In the video, she takes a hit off a pipe after insisting that pot users “shouldn’t be ostracized or marginalized.”


Forget Colorado, New Survey Shows Rhode Islanders Use The Most Marijuana

RHODE ISLAND:  This may shock you, but Colorado and Washington residents don’t use the most weed (if you’re measuring by the percent of state residents who regularly use marijuana.) Rhode Islanders do.

Thirteen percent, or one in eight, of those over age 12 in The Ocean State said they had used marijuana in the past month, according to state-level statistics from the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is a big jump from the national average, which is about 7 percent. Kansas reported the lowest levels of regular marijuana users at 4.06 percent overall.

Though Rhode Island came in as a dark horse, the rest of the statistics are less surprising: According to The Washington Post, Western states generally have the highest rate of weed usage, at 9 percent, followed by the Northeast. The South has the lowest overall rate at 5.83 percent.


Law Enforcement In Rhode Island Pushing For Marijuana Law Changes

RHODE ISLAND: Law enforcement officials are pushing to amend Rhode Island‘s medical marijuana law to address public safety problems they call unintended consequences of the program, but patient advocates say the changes would jeopardize access to medicine.

The attorney general’s office and municipal police chiefs say some licensed cardholders are growing excess amounts of marijuana under a program with inadequate oversight and some caregivers and patients have become targets of home invasions.

“People are taking advantage of this program to a level that the General Assembly could never have realized,” said Special Assistant Attorney General Joee Lindbeck.