Rhode Island


States consider best ways to legalize recreational marijuana

A special legislative commission is looking into the potential effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island as the state's northern neighbor readies to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Bills to legalize and tax recreational marijuana in Rhode Island have stalled in previous legislative sessions. The General Assembly agreed in June to look into the issue further by creating the commission.

It met for the first time Wednesday.

Voters in Massachusetts approved legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana in November. Massachusetts officials have been cautious about the rollout and sales have been delayed.


Rhode Island: New study commission on legalizing marijuana meets for first time

The 19 members of a new study commission to look into legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island met for the first time Wednesday, setting up plans to take testimony and study data from other states over the next several months.

The commission was formed by the legislature earlier this year, tasking the members with studying the effects of legal marijuana and reporting back its findings. Its members include legislators, law enforcement officials, mental health and medical professionals and advocates from both sides of the debate.


10 States Most Likely to Pass Recreational Marijuana Next

Every week's there's a new story about how well recreational marijuana legalization has helped states such as Colorado, Washington and Oregon. And now several other states, such as California, Nevada and Massachusetts, have jumped on the train to reap the benefits of legalization. As the trend continues of states generating success from cannabis, where could we see future expansion of recreational use? Here's a list of 10 states most likely to pass recreational marijuana next.

10. New York


Regulate RI proposes marijuana legalization compromise; speaker’s office says too late this session

Regulate Rhode Island and their legislative allies proposed “incremental legalization” as a compromise for marijuana legalization. But, within minutes Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello's office said legalization legislation is dead for the session and that Mattiello was supporting the study commission bill.


Employer loses suit after refusing to hire medical marijuana user for internship

Dive Brief:

  • A Rhode Island Superior Court judge ruled against a local fabrics company after a woman alleged the business refused to hire her for an internship due to her use of medical marijuana, The Providence Journal reports. 

Rhode Island: Council hears about recreational marijuana

As momentum to legalize recreational marijuana in Rhode Island builds, the town council held a special town meeting Tuesday to look at what can be expected should marijuana for recreational use become legal in the state. 

Joee Lindbeck, assistant attorney general, visited the town hall to share her insight into zoning for marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. 

“I will say this,” Lindbeck began, “your town has been a leader in this state about zoning ordinances of medical marijuana.”


Rhode Island: From Legalizing Marijuana at the Ballot Box to Legalizing It by Legislation, Lawmakers Look to Cash In

When Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in November to legalize recreational marijuana, Josh Miller saw this as a sign that his time had finally arrived. 

The Rhode Island state senator has a reputation among colleagues as a cannabis crusader — a battle that, so far, he’s lost. For the last three years, Miller introduced legislation to legalize recreational pot, and for the last three years, his efforts have died in committee hearing rooms.

But now, in a turnaround, some of Miller’s colleagues are signaling an interest in legalized weed — and raking in the tax dollars that come with it.


This Would Be a First for the Marijuana Industry

The marijuana industry had an incredible 2016, and pro-legalization enthusiasts are hoping that momentum carries over into 2017.

Heading into 2016, there were 23 states that had legalized medical cannabis and four (Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska) that had legalized recreational pot. This in itself was impressive considering that, just two decades prior (1996), California became the first state to legalize any form of marijuana with its Compassionate Use Act for a select few medical patients. In 2017, five additional states wound up legalizing medical cannabis, two of which did so entirely through the legislative process, while residents in four more states (California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) approved recreational marijuana initiatives.


Marijuana reforms flood state legislatures

Legislators in more than a dozen states have introduced measures to loosen laws restricting access to or criminalizing marijuana, a rush of legislative activity that supporters hope reflects a newfound willingness by public officials to embrace a trend toward legalization.

The gamut covered by measures introduced in the early days of legislative sessions underscores the patchwork approach to marijuana by states across the country — and the possibility that the different ways states treat marijuana could come to a head at the federal Justice Department, where President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to become attorney general is a staunch opponent of legal pot.


Rhode Island Lawmakers Want to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

If successful, the effort would make Rhode Island the ninth state to allow recreational pot

Rhode Island lawmakers announced on Wednesday that they will try to legalize pot, again.

For the seventh consecutive year, lawmakers will introduce a bill that would allow adults to consume marijuana recreationally. But advocates are hopeful that the proposal might finally get a vote this time, in part because of the wins weed had in the 2016 election—some right in Rhode Island’s backyard.


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