On Wednesday, the governor of Rhode Island Dan McKee signed a measure to legalize recreational cannabis in the state. Rhode Island joins 18 other states that have a legal adult use program.
Lawmakers had on Tuesday voted for the cannabis bill which received overwhelming support (32-6 in the Senate and 55-16 in the house). The newly signed Rhode Island Cannabis Act makes the following provisions:
- Expungement of previous non-violent marijuana convictions
- Legalized possession of up to an ounce of cannabis by legal adults
- Legalized cultivating up to three cannabis plants in private residences
- Medical cannabis operators are open to apply for hybrid licenses to allow them to engage with the recreational market
- 25% of the licenses are reserved for minority communities that were disproportionately targeted by the failed war on drugs
- Recreational marijuana will be taxed at 20%
- Legal adult use sales set to commence in December 2022
Gov McKee took has expressed his satisfaction with the bill stating that it provides “equitable, controlled, and safe” access to cannabis.
The sponsors of the bill are even more excited as they took time to thank stakeholders who have played a key role in ensuring that the cannabis act has seen the light of day. Senator Joshua Miller, one of the three sponsors, had this to say. “It has been a long road, but I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
The D-Day that will see to it that Rhode Island residents get to purchase weed legally is set for 1st December. With 18 other states to benchmark against it’s expected that the rollout of adult use cannabis in Rhode Island will be smooth.