Rhode Island to legalize by the end of 2022
Recreational marijuana is coming to Rhode Island by the end of the year, and nonviolent convictions for possession may automatically be expunged if the proposed amendment to the bill is approved by both the state House and Senate next Tuesday, May 24th. While the proposed amendment will push the start date for recreational sales from October 1st to December 1st, it would also eliminate the fees charged to patients and caregivers for registration in the state’s medical cannabis program.
Gov. Daniel McKee remarked that he looks forward to reviewing and signing adult recreational use and sales into law. While the bill differs from what Gov. McKee originally proposed, his goal of making sure that legalization is equitable, controlled, and safe has been accomplished, according to a statement released by the governor’s office.
The proposed bill in question would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes for personal use, and allow Rhode Island residents to grow a “small amount” at home as well. The bill establishes a recreational market for cannabis, with a 10% sales tax – 7% sales tax and 3% local tax in the municipalities where the sales take place.
The amendment proposed by Senator Joshua Miller and Representative Scott Slater provides for automatic expungement of any prior misdemeanor, civil violations, or felony conviction for possession of marijuana because cannabis will be decriminalized by law. Those seeking expungements would not have to file requests, pay fees, or participate in court hearings.
The amendment provides for automatic expungement of any prior civil violation, misdemeanor, or felony conviction for possession of cannabis that would be decriminalized by the bill. Those seeking expungements would not have to file requests, pay fees, or have hearings.
If passed and signed into law – and all signs point to that it will – Rhode Island will become the 19th state in the country to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.