The Rhode Island legislature is revising the law to legalize recreational marijuana

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“The amended bill is a collaborative effort.”

A mature marijuana plant blooms under artificial lights before harvest. The bill now provides for the automatic overturning of any prior conviction for cannabis possession that would be decriminalized by the legislation, without an individual having to file an application, pay a fee, or attend a hearing. AP Photo/Richard Vogel, file

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers on Tuesday introduced amendments to a bill legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana, revisions aimed at ensuring the legislation passes the state’s General Assembly.

The amended bill was released Tuesday ahead of committee votes scheduled for Wednesday. Both the House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote next week.

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The bill now provides for the automatic overturning of any prior conviction for cannabis possession that would be decriminalized by the legislation, without an individual having to file an application, pay a fee, or attend a hearing. The deletions would take place by July 1, 2024, with an expedited process being offered for those who wish to have their records deleted sooner. A deletion had to be requested in the original invoice.

Recreational sales start date moved from October 1st to December 1st. The amended law would eliminate the current fees charged to patients and caregivers for enrollment in the state’s medical marijuana program.

The legislature also changed the way people would be appointed to the commission that would oversee the industry to address the governor’s concerns about the separation of powers.

“The amended law is a concerted effort to address concerns about protecting medicinal uses, ensure fair governance and recognize that we cannot make this transition without taking action to heal the communities and individuals who have been suffering for decades were punished by the ban,” Democratic Sen. Joshua Miller, who is leading the Senate legalization effort, said in a statement.

The bill proposes to legalize the sale and possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older, with no more than 10 ounces being kept at home for personal use. It would also allow residents to grow a small amount at home.

The amended bill retains the proposed 10% state cannabis use tax, which would be in addition to the 7% sales tax and 3% local tax for the municipality where the sale occurs. The number of cannabis retailers that would be allowed in Rhode Island remains the same as the original proposal at 33.


https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2022/05/17/lawmakers-revise-bill-to-legalize-recreational-marijuana/ The Rhode Island legislature is revising the law to legalize recreational marijuana

Rick Schindler

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