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rhode island marijuana laws
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In 2006, the Rhode Island legislature overrode the Governor’s veto to pass the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, authorizing medical marijuana use. In 2009, the Ocean State amended the Act to authorize the creation of state-licensed compassion centers where medical marijuana could be sold. In 2016, legislators overhauled the system with Article 14, in particular introducing a new medical marijuana cultivator license and eliminating commercial sales by caregivers.
In 2017, Rhode Island’s dispensaries saw medical marijuana revenues of about $30 million, with 30-percent growth projected for 2018. Rhode Island is home to over 18,000 registered medical marijuana patients as of 2018.
In 2018, the final version of the Rhode Island budget increased annual license fees for dispensaries from $5,000 to $250,000.
There are no licenses available in Rhode Island at this time.
Another potentially controversial part of the regulations would divide the state into six zones, with each zone allowed one new dispensary. The three existing dispensaries in Providence, Warwick and Portsmouth are in different zones.
Dispensary applicants can apply to enter the lottery in more than one geographic zone, but they will have to pay a $10,000 application fee for each zone they apply to and provide proof that they have a suitable space ready in each. The annual licensing fee for new dispensaries is $500,000.
Six communities prohibit medical marijuana sales through their zoning codes: Coventry, Johnston, Lincoln, North Kingstown, Smithfield and Tiverton.
Proposed new Rhode Island medical marijuana zones each getting one new dispensary:
Zone 1: Burrillville, Cumberland, Glocester, North Smithfield, Smithfield, Woonsocket
Zone 2: Central Falls, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence, Providence
Zone 3: Coventry, Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich, West Warwick
Zone 4: Cranston, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Warwick
Zone 5: Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, Richmond, South Kingstown, Westerly
Zone 6: Barrington, Bristol, East Providence, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, New Shoreham, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Warren
Estimated market size
how to start a marijuana business rhode island
If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in Rhode Island, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities.