Reminder: Caregivers Now Need National Background Checks – No More BCIs

If you are already a caregiver or about to become a caregiver, don’t forget that the law changed as of September 1 regarding background checks.  Here is how it works: All caregivers are required to submit to a national criminal records check (NCRC) when you renew your caregiver license or add a new patient, whichever comes first. When your patient receives their renewal form, they will also receive a form for you to bring for your NCRC. If your patient is new to the Program, the form is part of the initial application,  We suggest bringing that form to the Attorney General’s office (same place you went for your BCI) at 150 South Main Street in Providence. You could go to your local police station if you are comfortable with identifying yourself to your local police but they have restricted hours. You could also go to the State Police barracks but we have received conflicting reports as to which barracks are actually providing this function. NCRCs require finger prints and the fee is 35 dollars. Bring a check or money order because they will NOT accept cash. Also remember to bring your drivers license, state issued ID or passport. We are told that the Health Department will be informed whether or not you qualify to be a caregiver within 24 hours.  If you are disqualified, the Health Department will not be told the reasons. Unlike the BCIs, you cannot be required to submit to a NCRC more than once every two years.  Be aware that there are new disqualifications for caregivers in addition to felony drug convictions.  They are:  murder, manslaughter, rape, first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, first degree child molestation, second degree child molestation, kidnapping, first degree arson, second degree arson, mayhem, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault or battery involving grave bodily injury, and/or assault with intent to commit any offense
punishable as a felony or a similar offense from any other jurisdiction. It does not matter how long ago the offenses were committed. The Health Department can make an exception only  if the caregiver is seeking to care for an immediate family member.



RIPAC Grow Classes Delayed

The start of the RIPAC Grow Classes is delayed due to circumstances beyond our control. We are encouraged by the numbers of patients and caregivers who have signed up for the classes and are committed to offering the classes. We will be announcing a new schedule as soon as we can so please continue to check the calendar on our website,  Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you would like to receive an email when we have the new schedule, please send your request to You may also text a request to the RIPAC phone at 401.861.1601.

Reminder: Please support the businesses that support RI patients and caregivers. You will find those businesses and their ads on the right hand side of our website. Thank you.

Who Will You Vote For? Part 2. Attorney General

RIPAC cannot endorse candidates but we did interview the candidates for AG.  The AG is the chief law enforcement official in the state and has a profound impact on the MMj Program.  Here are the responses from the two candidates:

Dawson Hodgson, Republican challenger

Strongly supports medical use of cannabis and the MMj Program

Supports compassion centers

Supports patients and caregivers growing

Open to expanding the number of compassion centers

Strongly supports the idea of co-ops with 4-8 cardholders growing as long as they are regulated

When he learned of problems with local building inspectors refusing to approve non-residential co-ops, said that he would like to provide leadership in setting the correct tone for local inspectors.

 Peter Kilmartin, Democratic incumbent

Strongly supports medical use of cannabis and the MMj Program

Supports compassion centers

Supports patients and caregivers growing

Open to expanding number of compassion centers

​May be open to regulating larger co-ops but wants to assess the impact of new co-op law first (he proposed the new co-op law which was passed by the legislature)

Acknowledged problems with inspectors regarding inspections of non-residential co-ops and believes that more education is needed

Who will you vote for?

With elections on the horizon, RIPAC has been asked who patients and caregivers should vote for. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, RIPAC cannot endorse candidates. We can, however meet with the candidates to discuss the MMj Program and report their views to you.  So far, we have met with Gina Raimondo (democrat candidate for governor) and Allan Fung (republican candidate for governor).  Here is what they said regarding MMj:
Gina Raimondo said that she supports the medical use of cannabis. She said that she supports affordable access to quality medicine for patients. Specifically, she said that she supports the compassion centers as well as patients and caregivers growing medicine.
Allan Fung acknowledged that, as Mayor of Cranston, he once opposed the opening of a dispensary in that city. He said that was primarily due to concerns about conflicts with federal law but that he has changed his view.  He supports the medical use of cannabis and compassion centers. He said that he did not know if he supports the rights of patients and caregivers to grow. He said that he would need more information and would like to consult with law enforcement before making that decision. 
We also have plans to meet with the candidates for Attorney General and will report the results to you.


New Grow Classes Start Wednesday

Must be licensed patient or caregiver to attend. This is a series of 8 classes. Fee is $25 per class. Please call or text 401.861.1601 to make a reservation. You must leave your name and phone number. We recommend attending all 8 classes but you may choose which ones to attend. Classes are on select Wednesday evenings, 7-9PM at 498 Kinsley Avenue in Providence. Below is list of classes, dates and content (please note that dates could be subject to change): 

Oct. 22: Introduction, Grow room environment, Grow room set up
Nov. 5:  Container, medium, & nutrient selection, Water requirements, PH testing
Nov. 19: Seed germination, Transplanting seedlings, Cloning, Transplanting clones
Dec. 10: Pests and diseases Prevention Treatment of infected plants
Dec 17:  Vegetative growth Vegetative nutrients Transplanting Topping and training
Jan. 7:    Flowering cycle, Flowering nutrients, Patience
Jan. 21:  Harvest, Drying, Curing
Jan. 28:  Bubble hash making, Butter and tincture making


RIPAC MMj Festival Postponed to This Sunday, October 5

Due to rainy forecast, the festival will be on Sunday when the sun is expected to shine. Please join us and find the best equipment for medicating and for growing at the best prices from the RI and MA businesses that support patients and caregivers,  Bring your questions and talk to the experts about best growing practices, how to medicate most effectively while maintaining your privacy, changes in the law, how to become a patient or caregiver, how to find a caregiver, new regulations and more.  Participating businesses are GIVING AWAY valuable merchandise. Here are a few examples: An anonymous donor, who believes that patients should grow their own medicine (if they can safely do so), is giving away thousands of dollars of grow equipment including a tent and equipment so a patient can start to grow. In celebration of opening new store in Smithfield, Good to Grow is giving away a thousand watt raptor package – raptor reflector, phantom digital ballast and 1000 watt bulb. Stuff to Puff, experts in helping patients find the best way to administer MMj (vaporizers, butter machines,etc) will be giving away a shopping spree. There is sooo much more.

You can meet representatives from all three Compassion Centers: Greenleaf, Slater, and Summit (soon to open in Warwick).  Bring your questions.

If you are growing and need an electrician who supports the MMj Program, electricians from Zap’s Electrical Contractors will be there.  Have you ever worried about how your garden may impact your insurance coverage? We will have info from insurers.

So please join us and learn the facts about the MMj Program while you have some fun. Watch the glassblowers from Pass the Glass create art while you listen to great music. Indulge yourself with food provided by Haven Brothers or Tina’s Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant. Or you can have some pizza, fresh out of the traveling oven.

All welcome whether you are already part of the Program, would like to be, or just want to know more.  See you there –  498 KINSLEY AVENUE in PROVIDENCE.  11AM – 5:30 PM.

Congratulations to 1000 WATTS magazine on your 4th birthday and thank you for sponsoring the Festival.