Cannabis use is legal for anyone over the age of 21 in Rhode Island. Adults may have up to one ounce of cannabis in public and 10 ounces at home. Public consumption is legal where cigarette smoking is legal.
Home grow of up to 6 plants is also legal in Rhode Island. Public possession of over one ounce of cannabis is decriminalized and considered a civil violation which is subject to a fine, but no jail time
Recreational cannabis was signed into law in May of 2022 and retail sales are expected to begin as soon as December 2022. Sales will start at existing medical dispensaries, while up to 33 adult-use dispensaries will be granted licenses. The law created a new regulatory body, the Cannabis Control Commission, and also mandates automatic expungement for civil and criminal records, no later than July 2024.
How to Get a Medical Card in Rhode Island
Rhode Island residents with a debilitating condition can legally use marijuana if a physician certifies in writing that it may ease their symptoms and that the potential benefits outweigh the health risks. Patients who register with the Rhode Island Department of Health are also allowed to designate one caregiver and authorized purchaser who can acquire marijauna on their behalf after passing a background check. Minors may also be prescribed medical marijuana, provided a legal guardian serves as their authorized purchaser and/or caregiver.
Patients must present proof of residency, pay a $50 non-refundable application fee, fill out a patient application form, and have a licensed doctor fill out a practitioner form. Patients must specify if they plan on cultivating marijuana as well.
Rhode Island allows full reciprocity for medical marijuana patients from other states.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, health conditions that are approved for medical mairjauna use include:
- Cancer or cancer treatment (radiation, chemotherapy)
- Glaucoma or glaucoma treatment
- Severe, debilitating, chronic pain
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- PTSD (if patient is over 18 years of age)
- Severe nausea
- Hepatitis C or Hepatitis C treatment
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
Where to Buy
Medical marijuana first became legal in the Ocean State in 2006, and three years later the state legislature approved the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries. In 2012, the state passed a law decriminalizing possession of marijuana for personal use — up to one ounce.
Governor Gina Raimondo stated in an interview in November 2019 that “the next logical step is adult use” and that she would “maybe” try to advance adult legalization in the next state budget. She had previously attempted to pass a legalization proposal in her 2019 budget.
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