Forty-five companies bought a lottery ticket to open one of six new medical marijuana dispensaries being allowed in Rhode Island, according to the Department of Business Regulation.
Assuming all of the applicants meet state requirements, they will be entered into six random drawings, each one choosing an operator for a medical pot shop in a different region of the state.
The largest number of applicants — a dozen out of the 45 — are seeking to open a dispensary in the West Bay region that includes Cranston, East Greenwich, North Kingstown and Warwick.
There were 10 applicants in the region covering Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Johnston, Lincoln and North Providence.
And also 10 in the South County region that stretches from Narragansett to Westerly.
Rhode Island lawmakers approved six new dispensaries in mid-2019, and after months of legal wrangling, planning and the pandemic, began accepting applications in the summer. The application period closed Monday.
Department of Business Regulation officials Tuesday were unable to say when the lottery would be held.
There are three medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the state now, located in Providence, Warwick and Portsmouth.
The best odds of winning one of the six new licenses is in a region including West Warwick, Coventry, West Greenwich, Scituate and Foster, where only two groups put in applications.
Applicants were required to pay a $10,000 fee, provide detailed financial information about their operation and prove they have a physical site that can comply with local zoning.
The new dispensaries will not be allowed to grow their own product.
On Twitter: @PatrickAnderso_