EXETER, R.I (WPRI) — A recently-opened medical marijuana dispensary in Rhode Island has been approved to sell recreational cannabis in South County, and is also moving locations.
Sweetspot Dispensary, which previously opened as a delivery-only medical marijuana shop in South Kingstown, is now opening a hybrid medical and recreational shop in Exeter.
The new shop at 560 South County Trail is slated to open Tuesday, according to a news release.
The R.I. Department of Business Regulation approved Sweetspot’s application to move locations on Monday, also granting the company permission to sell recreational cannabis as a hybrid dispensary.
Sweetspot was the first new medical dispensary to open in Rhode Island earlier this year, after state lawmakers in 2019 approved six new medical marijuana licenses. The DBR randomly selected six dispensary applicants in six different geographic zones to receive the licenses.
But the business hit a snag when zoning officials in South Kingstown did not approve a special use permit for the dispensary to sell cannabis at its Pershing Avenue location.
The dispensary pivoted to a delivery-only model, using their storefront for consultations and then delivering the medicine from their Warwick grow facility.
With the approval of the new Exeter location, the South Kingstown location is no longer licensed to sell cannabis, said Lindsay Russell, a spokesperson for DBR’s Office of Cannabis Regulation.
“OCR is pleased to approve the sixth dispensary for hybrid retail sales and looks forward to the continued expansion of Rhode Island’s adult use cannabis market in the coming months,” Russell said.
The dispensary will be the sixth to sell recreational cannabis since sales began December 1, and the first in South County. The state’s five other medical dispensaries in Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Portsmouth and Central Falls are also licensed to sell recreational cannabis.
Sweetspot will still offer delivery for medical patients only, according to CEO Jason Webski.
The Exeter store is slated to open Tuesday and is planning to hold a sale on the first day.
“One key initiative is to use our cultivating experience to identify and supply the highest quality products in Rhode Island, bridging the gap between customer and producer,” Webski said.
Webski said the business will continue growing cannabis in its existing Warwick facility, but will also purchase products from other cultivators.
There are still three unawarded medical marijuana licenses from the six applicants pulled from the lottery last year, all of which had issues with their locations.
Solar Therapeutics, which was initially slated to open in Cranston, had issues due to its vicinity to a park and has been approved to move to Warwick. At last check, the store was expected to open in December or January.
Two other applicants pulled from the lottery are still in legal disputes. RMI Compassion Center in Woonsocket was denied zoning approvals from the city and has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court.
Green Wave Compassion Center in Foster had its initial approval revoked by DBR after failing to meet the deadline to open. The owner, who says the dispensary’s original location had a wetlands issue, has questioned why other dispensaries were allowed to move locations and is appealing the decision.