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Scores for RI’s compassion center applicants

May 4, 2011

Add this to the saga of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island.

Dr. Michael Follick, the force behind The Institute for Alternative Therapeutics- one of the compassion center applicants that wasn’t selected, is calling the selection process “objective” and “political”.

Through a public information request, Follick obtained the scoring rubric for all 18 of the compassion center applicants.  Here it is

As you can see, the top three proposals weren’t the ones that received the licenses.  The winning applicants ranked 1st, 5th, and 6th.

Follick says the selection process went wrong way back when the Department of Health threw out its first round of applicants last year.

It just reeeked. It just reeked. I felt betrayed.  We were doing something that nobody else was doing and then everyone got to plagiarize our application.

Follick says the DOH “messed up at every turn” in the medical marijuana dispensary process.

Annemarie Beardsworth with the Department of Health says Follick’s document is accurate and “everybody is entitled to their opinions and their viewpoints,” but

The same criteria were applied to all of the applications and beside from the individual application scores, when you’re looking at patient access and convenience, if you look at our numbers and state wide the largest number of medical marijuana patients, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, hypothetically speaking, to have a compassion center in Westerly… you also don’t want all three compassion centers on the same street.

All of this information seems a bit irrelevant in light of the recent warnings from the U.S. Attorney, restating that the compassion centers violate federal law. Michael Follick says now,  he’s almost grateful his application wasn’t successful.

Right now I’m a happy guy.  I feel like I’m a winner.

After calculating all of the investments he would have made if he was chosen, Follick says he could have lost a lot of money if Governor Chafee cancels the entire program for good.  Cranston Mayor Allan Fung argued that these compassion centers were still subject to federal law, and at the time Follick disagreed with him.  Now he’s rethinking his stance.

Right now I feel like sending him a thank you card.

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