Posted on

rhode island marijuana laws growing

House Speaker Joe Shekarchi, a Warwick Democrat, has said the Democratic-controlled Legislature will likely end up taking up the question on how to structure a legal marijuana industry in a special session later this year.

Miller’s proposal would impose a 20% tax on marijuana sales, create an independent cannabis control commission to license and oversee marijuana operations, and allow for home cultivation. It would also create a “Cannabis Equity Fund” to help marijuana businesses from disadvantaged communities.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate approved legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults on Tuesday, marking the first time either chamber of the state Legislature has voted on a bill to legalize cannabis.

The proposal was introduced by longtime proponent Sen. Joshua Miller, a Cranston Democrat who chairs the chamber’s Health and Human Services Committee. It now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Gov. Daniel McKee has his own plan for legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, but legislative leaders didn’t include it in their proposed $13.1 billion state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Green Thumb’s acquisition of a Rhode Island dispensary is particularly notable because the state only has three licensed compassion centers. Although Rhode Island has approved the licensing of six additional compassion centers, the associated lotters has not yet occurred and those licenses have not yet been issued. The new licenses have been delayed due to an ongoing applicant appeal and a lack of qualified consultants to assist the state in application review and operating the planned lottery. As of today, Rhode Island still has only the three licensed compassion centers, with one of them now in the Green Thumb fold.

And that market expansion shows no signs of slowing. Rhode Island’s medical marijuana sales have grown from approximately $38 million annually in 2018 to $60 million through the middle of 2020. Total marijuana sales in Rhode Island are expected to reach upwards of $150 million within in the next few years. And while the Rhode Island Senate recreational use bill and its restriction on new cultivation may not be reflected in the final product of the state legislature, Green Thumb has put itself squarely in the middle of the existing medical marijuana regime and is well-positioned to capitalize on the potential legalization of adult recreational-use marijuana.

Green Thumb Industries (“Green Thumb”) has announced that it has closed a deal to acquire one of only three existing medical cannabis dispensaries in Rhode Island, further expanding the Chicago-based company’s substantial footprint in the legal marijuana industry nationwide. Green Thumb is acquiring CanWell Processing and Mobley Pain Management and Wellness Center, each of which held stakes in Summit Medical Compassion Center (“Summit”), a medical marijuana dispensary in Warwick. The specifics of the deal remain undisclosed.

The acquisition of an interest in Summit officially puts Green Thumb in almost half of the legal cannabis markets in the United States. As of now, it operates in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Rhode Island. According to its website, Green Thumb has licenses for at least 111 retail locations nationwide and it also operates at least 16 separate manufacturing facilities. According to some third-party estimates, Green Thumb is among the 15 largest marijuana companies in the world.

For Green Thumb, securing a foothold in the expanding Rhode Island market could prove lucrative; there remains limited competition in cultivation and a strong possibility of a major market expansion. Earlier this summer, the Rhode Island Senate voted 29-9 to legalize adult recreational-use marijuana. That bill also called for a moratorium on new cultivation licenses until July 2023. That would mean that Green Thumb now possesses one of the few vertical licenses available along with one of only three (current) retail locations, giving the company significant exposure to a rapidly growing market in the Northeast.

Yes, the caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. Primary caregiver may assist no more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana. Patients can appoint no more than one caregiver.

Yes, no more than nine

Yes, up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings. All marijuana must be cultivated in one location. Must be stored in an indoor facility.

Residential – no more than 10 ounces of useable marijuana, 24 mature marijuana plants, and 24 seedlings.

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATIENTS

Yes, authorizes a patient with a debilitating medical condition, with a registry identification card (or its equivalent), to engage in the medical use of marijuana. Also authorizes a person to assist with the medical use of marijuana by a patient with a debilitating medical condition.

Two or more cardholders may cooperatively cultivate marijuana in residential or non-residential locations subject to the following restrictions:

Non-residential – no more than 10 ounces of usable marijuana, 48 mature marijuana plants, and 48 seedlings.

CAREGIVERS

More helpful information can be found at Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition.