Rhode Island Considers Tightening Out of State Cannabis Patient Rules

Rhode Island officials have proposed a new rule requiring out-of-state cannabis patients to show ID from the same state as their patient card; the change would prevent citizens from switching to more accessible, out-of-state programs while still living in Rhode Island.

Full story after the jump.

Rhode Island has proposed changing state requirements for medical cannabis purchases by out of state residents.

Last year, the state took a major step forward in medical cannabis policy by allowing out of state residents to buy medical cannabis. However, after the change, a curious thing happened — according to the Providence Journal, the change prompted some 6,500 registered medical cannabis patients to change to California addresses in order to take advantage of the Golden State’s simpler medical cannabis regulations.

The policy shift proposed in Rhode Island would require patients to present a valid ID from the state where they are registered as a medical cannabis patient before they can take advantage of the out of state exemption.

At a hearing discussing the changes patients expressed concerns that Rhode Island’s system was too complicated and costly. A patient named Alexa Coffey from Portsmith, Rhode Island, said she opted for the out of state option because the Rhode Island card was too expensive.

“I make no money and have a lot of medical bills to pay,” she said.

Others believe the change may push more patients to the unregulated marketplace or force them to go to neighboring Massachusetts, where cannabis has been legalized for adult use, to buy their cannabis.

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