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Number of medical marijuana patients in RI doubles since 2013, oversight staffing stays level

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The state Department of Health reports the number of patients enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program has more than doubled since 2013.

The department reports there are now 11,620 such patients, up from 4,894 two years ago. The number of physicians providing certifications for medical marijuana patients also is up, from 512 in 2013 to 684 this year.

But the Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1OnBxvG ) oversight staffing in the health department has remained level, with the equivalent of two full-time staffers from the department's Office of Professional Licensing assigned to the program.

Christina Batastini, a spokeswoman for the department, tells the newspaper there are no requirements for a department physician to review the patient authorization forms and no funding has been provided for that level of oversight.


Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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