THC-Rich Cannabis is Now Legal In Rhode Island

THC-Rich Cannabis is Now Legal In Rhode Island

On Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 the Governor of Rhode Island signed a bill to legalize THC-Rich Cannabis (marijuana). By signing this bill, Rhode Island is now the 19th state to end prohibition. It will be a few months until adult-use retail sales launch. Immediately, adults 21 and older can legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants for personal use (only three of which can be mature). Fortunately, the law also includes an automatic expungement of previous cannabis convictions.

The governor, during the signing ceremony, said this legislation “took a great deal of effort—it certainly wasn’t a straight line. It took hundreds of hours of work, meetings, stakeholders sessions, negotiations and collaboration. And that’s how good legislation gets done.”

“The bill I signed today into law ensures that legalization is equitable, controlled and safe,” he said. “Those were three things that were very important to all of us when we were negotiating this final agreement as Rhode Island begins this new chapter.”

What Does the Rhode Island Cannabis Bill Accomplish

  • Rhode Island Adults 21 and older will be able to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants (only three of which could be mature) for personal use.
  • Possession and cultivation are immediately permitted, assuming security requirements prescribed in the bill are met for adults who choose to grow their own plants, but the first retail locations won’t open until December 1, 2022 at earliest.
  • The allowable possession limit for marijuana stored in a given household will be maxed out at 10 ounces.
  • The state will automatically expunge prior marijuana possession convictions for amounts now made legal by July 1, 2024, but those who petition the court for relief will have their cases expedited.
  • Regulatory responsibility will be shared by a new independent Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) and an administrative Cannabis Office. A new advisory board would also assist.
  • The governor will be responsible for making appointments to the CCC.
  • Adult-use marijuana sales will be subject to the state’s seven percent sales tax, a 10 percent excise tax and a local three percent tax for municipalities that allow cannabis businesses to operate.
  • For the initial rollout, a total of 33 marijuana retailers can be licensed. Twenty-four of those licenses could be new standalone adult-use retailers, divided up equally between six geographic zones of the state, and nine other hybrid licenses could be approved for existing medical cannabis dispensaries if they pay a $125,000 fee for the privilege to add recreational sales.
  • Of the 24 standalone retailers, 25 percent will need to go to social equity applicants and another 25 percent will be for worker-owned cooperatives.
  • No single entity will be allowed to possess more than one business license, but people can invest in multiple companies.
  • Approved hybrid licensees can start to grow and manufacture marijuana for adult consumers starting August 1, 2022.
  • Possession of more than one ounce but up to two ounces for adults 18 and older will be decriminalized, with people facing a civil penalty without the threat of jail time.
  • Part of the money collected from cannabis licensing fees will support a new “Social Equity Assistance Fund.”
  • The fund will “provide assistance to applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition of cannabis,” according to an earlier summary.
  • Equity business applicants will need to meet one of several criteria to qualify, including at least 51 percent ownership by people who have resided in a disproportionately impacted area for five of the past 10 years, 51 percent ownership by people who have faced arrests or convictions over offenses that would qualify for expungements under the law or having income that does not exceed 400 percent of the median income in a disproportionately impacted area for five of the past 10 years.
  • A business that has at least 10 employees, with at least 51 percent residing in disproportionally impacted areas or who have been arrested or convicted for an expungable offense offense under the bill will also qualify as would being able to demonstrate significant experience in types of businesses that promote economic development.
  • There will be a two-year moratorium on licensing additional cultivators beyond those that are already operating for the medical cannabis market.
  • Regulators will also be responsible for setting limits on “cannabis product serving sizes, doses, and potency, including, but not limited to, regulations which provide requirements for reasonable tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency limits for each type of cannabis product sold by a licensee and reasonable potency or dosing limits for cannabis concentrates and edible products, that shall apply for adult use cannabis only.”
  • Local municipalities can opt out of allowing marijuana retailers with voter approval via ballot referendums, but not if they currently have medical cannabis compassion centers operating in their jurisdiction. They could also set their own rules on public consumption through ordinances.
  • The bill also removes fees for medical cannabis plant tags and patient IDs once adult-use sales start.

Stay Up To Date With More From "Green Plant" News

Green Plant News was started to get you the most important news about cannabis/hemp legality, as well as other important developments. We choose the name Green Plant News because many platforms still will not allow us to even say the word “cannabis”. Because of this, especially in new users, they do not have the information they need which can lead to making uninformed decisions — including purchasing cannabinoid products from the black market. Not only is this foolish, but it’s incredibly dangerous (so far as to be life threatening). It’s our mission to give you the education you need to make the decisions you want to, to support the bills you want to, and to live how you want to.

Stay up to date with "Green Plant" News by Subscribing to our Bulletin. Not only will that give you a 20% off code for your first purchase at Ethereal Gold Dispensary, but you will our receive our weekly updates of important cannabis/cannabinoid news.