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WOONSOCKET â When his friend first proposed they go into business together providing gardening supplies for medical marijuana growers, Jeff Paige had cold feet.
The 51-year-old refugee from the telecommunications industry wasnât against legal pot, medical or otherwise. But heâs no crusader, either, and heâs pretty careful about how he invests his money.
He took a hard and long look at whether the idea made business sense.
âI think what I was really doing was looking for a reason not to do it,â says Paige. âNow Iâm kicking myself that I didnât do this two years ago.â
âThisâ is RI Hydroponics, the 14th store in the state that caters to so-called caregivers for medical marijuana users, a population thatâs grown to more than 20,000 since the drug was legalized for medical use in 2006. The law is set up to allow caregivers to supply legal users by growing marijuana themselves.
Located at 85 Front St., RI Hydroponics is next door to a pizza shop and across the street from the Crepeau Court senior center, whose tenants were among his earliest visitors, says Paige.
âThey thought I was a fruit stand,â he says.
After all the research he put in before deciding to go forward with the venture, it was a lesson he learned from his investment club that sealed the deal: âThey always say, âThe trend is your friend,ââ said Paige.