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Rhode Island Gov. Calls for Legalization

Rhode Island’s governor is calling on lawmakers to legalize but has proposed the country’s strictest adult-use regulations, so far.

Full story after the jump.

With neighboring states beginning to opt out of cannabis prohibition, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said she will call for the legalization of adult-use cannabis this week, according to a Providence Journal report.

Gov. Raimondo will include her legalization proposal in her budget plan for the next fiscal year, starting July 1.

Cannabis reforms are making a huge splash in New England, with legalization already established in nearby Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont; New York and New Jersey are also both positioned to legalize in 2019.

“I will say, I do this with reluctance. I have resisted this for the four years I’ve been governor. … Now, however, things have changed, mainly because all of our neighbors are moving forward [with legalization].” — Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), via The Providence Journal

Gov. Raimondo’s proposal would create one of the most restrictive adult-use markets in the U.S., with rules blocking both home grows and high-potency concentrates like dabs. Her proposal would also establish five-milligram dose limits for edibles infused with THC. The restrictions, according to the governor, are aimed at reducing health and safety issues reported in other legalized states.

If accepted by lawmakers, the governor’s proposal would see adult-use retailers opening in Rhode Island by January 2020.

“We’re not an island,” said Gov. Raimondo. “Like it or not, we’re going to be incurring public safety and public health expenses because it’s legal in Massachusetts.”

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