Tony Kent

Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Introduced in Rhode Island

Adult-use cannabis legislation has been introduced in Rhode Island. The bill would create a taxed and regulated market, imposing a 10 percent excise tax on top of state and local sales taxes and allowing localities to tack on another 3 percent. The bill allows adults to possess 1 ounce of flower in public; 5 ounces in their home; as well as construct, use, and purchase cannabis products containing up to 300 milligrams of THC.

The bill allows for just one mature plant and one immature plant, which would require “cannabis tags” issued by the Department of Business Regulation. The bill does not specify whether the tags would carry a fee. Public smoking would carry a $150 fine, there is no social use provision.

The bill calls for at least 25 cultivator, 20 processor, 40 retailer, and 10 testing facility licenses. Cultivators would pay a $20,000 annual fee, while all other business types would pay $10,000.

The first $3 million after implementation and regulation expenses would be disbursed to Rhode Island police to establish a stoned-driving protocol. Additional funds would go to state police for training (15 percent); the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities for substance abuse programs (15 percent); public education campaigns (15 percent); and to the state general fund (55 percent).

Expungement language for low-level cannabis crimes is included in the measure.

The measure was introduced by Democratic state Sen. Joshua Miller. It is currently in the chamber’s Judiciary Committee.

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