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More on Lynch’s compassion center group

January 19, 2011

By now you probably know that Bill Lynch, the former chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party,  is among the 18 applicants hoping to  run the state’s  first medical  marijuana retail stores.  His group, called the “Rhode Island Center for Compassion and Wellness,” also includes retired Pawtucket Police Chief George Kelley and a former member of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

The heavy hitters plan to cultivate medical marijuana at the To Kalon ( TK) Club in Pawtucket.  The historic building is home to a social club founded in 1867.  A need for costly repairs has caused its members to seek a new owner.

But the city of Pawtucket isn’t wild about seeing a compassion center at the TK Club.  Doug Hadden with the Mayor’s Office says Lynch’s team didn’t even  contact the city about its application.

We’re a little disappointed we didn’t get a heads up on this.  We do not feel that this is the right use for that historic building, it’s such a prominent place overlooking the highway. Thousands of people go by that everyday.

Hadden says it’s his understanding that the TK Club has other potential buyers and hasn’t committed to selling the building to Lynch’s group.  I’ve put a call out to folks at the club but haven’t heard back. Update:  the President of the TK Club tells me Lynch’s group refused to describe its intended use for the building.  Three other bidders offered verbal agreements to buy the building and the club has decided to go with another offer.

JoAnne Leppanen, the executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), says Lynch’s group didn’t contact her either. That’s odd, because RIPAC is the non-profit that advocated for compassion centers in Rhode Island and Leppanen is an expert on the law as well as the specific needs of medical marijuana patients.

The application features some typos.  The word ounce is spelled “once.”  Expense is spelled “expene.” There is used where it should say “their.”  Words are inconsistently capitalized.

The group plans to spend $175,00 on consulting from one of the editors of “High Times” – the marijuana advocacy magazine.

… we’ve signed a letter of intent for cultivation consulting with Trans High Corp.(THC), a company that’s been involved with the cultivation of cannabis for decades. There [sic] magazine “High Times” (HT) has been the go to guide for cannabis growers since its first publication in 1974! Leading the THC team will be cultivation guru Danny Danko. Danny is the Senior Cultivation Editor of HT magazine and is widely known and respected among the medical cannabis grow industry.

I’ve put a call out to Bill Lynch to ask him about the application, but I haven’t heard from him yet.  I’ll post his response when he calls back.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2011 6:37 pm

    Another one that I will not be supporting. Most of these people do not have anything close to an adequate application or proper resources. It is imperative that applicants reach out to their community, be it the citizens, police officials, town council, or other political groups. This is why I endorse the Chronic Pain Management Centers of Rhode island. The app. they submitted is the most thorough, most complete, actually names a cost, and has a “Cadillac” subsidy program. Check them out here or friend them on facebook or follow them on twitter. Transparency and community count!

  2. Ray permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:10 pm

    Here is just another example of someone who hasn’t well thought this thing out. I am in favor of the compassion center idea, but the licenses should be granted to the applicants who will best serve the patients and the community they will be in by having open relationships with the community and by being professionals with well thought out intentions. I’ve only seen one or two applicants that seem to really know what they are doing and have the ability to really do some good with this opportunity. I really like the group in North Kingstown b/c they have a grower on their board, and they seem committed to doing what’s right. They promise to offer subsidies, a shuttle service, and want to partner with the Brown University marijuana study program. They have answered every question I’ve emailed and seem totally legit.


  1. Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Healthcare and its discontents « On Politics
  2. The ‘Toke Alone’ Club* | Providence Daily Dose

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