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How to buy retail pot in RI, a new era of legal cannabis begins

PROVIDENCE – Before sunrise Thursday, a new day dawned in Rhode Island, as the once nefarious act of scoring some marijuana became as legal as buying a six-pack. 

After generations of clandestine street purchasing and years of legislative debate, the first day of legal weed sales is to be marked with early celebrations and ribbon-cuttings as five medical marijuana dispensaries flip the switch to selling the drug for adult recreational use, too. 

What time were dispensaries to open Dec. 1?

Joseph Pakuris, co-owner of Mother Earth Wellness, in Pawtucket, planned to host the state’s first sale of recreational marijuana by opening his new Esten Avenue dispensary an hour early, at 7 a.m., and giving away marijuana treats. 

RI recreational pot:Dispensaries start to sell legal cannabis: Guidelines and more

Mother Earth Wellness in Pawtucket.  Retail marijuana sales start in RI on Dec. 1

But not to be outdone, RISE Dispensary of Warwick, formerly known as the Summit dispensary, had festivities at the Jefferson Boulevard business booked for 5:45 a.m., complete with steel-drum performances and a balloon archway. 

RISE, a national company founded under Green Thumb Industries of Chicago, has had plenty of experience in grand openings with 77 retail cannabis stores in 14 states, said spokeswoman Colleen Crawford. 

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