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Rhode Island's First 'Vapor Lounge' Opens In Providence

Elevated Lounge owner Kevin Cintorino sits in his Providence shop.
John Bender
/
RIPR
Elevated Lounge owner Kevin Cintorino sits in his Providence shop.

The state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge opened this weekend in Providence, but the legality of the lounge remains murky.

Elevated Vapor Lounge, located in downtown Providence opened Saturday.  Rhode Island medical marijuana patients can utilize the space to vaporize their doctor prescribed product.  And since state law bans smoking indoors, vaporizing is only thing allowed.

Elevated Lounge owner Kevin Cintorino sits in his Providence shop.
Credit John Bender / RIPR
/
RIPR
Elevated Lounge owner Kevin Cintorino sits in his Providence shop.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2006. Federal law continues to ban its sale.

Kevin Cintorino, a medical marijuana patient himself started the company.  “The city and the state are currently using us as the trial lounge, in order to figure out what rules and regulations would need to be in place.  They’ve told us that we’re going to be monitored very closely so we’ll abide by everything that they ask us,” said Cintorino.

He said they hold their customers to strict standards before they’re allowed to use the space. “Individuals obviously have to have their medicinal marijuana card from the state of Rhode Island.  They have to be 21 years or older, just as if they’re going to a bar.  And they have to fill out and sign our membership form, and also the contract included with it for the rules and regulations.”

Cintorino said he opened the lounge as a safe space for patients, who have no other place to use their medically prescribed marijuana.  Individuals must bring their own marijuana; vaporizers can be rented at the lounge.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Copyright 2015 The Public's Radio

John Bender is RIPR's Morning Edition Producer; he researches stories, interviews newsmakers and writes scripts for the morning news. He also does additional reporting throughout the day for general reporting and special projects.
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