Marijuana Laws in Rhode Island: An Overview

Current as of January 29, 2019

Rhode Island has decriminalized possession of small amounts only, and has a legalized Medical Marijuana program – here are the details.

For more detailed information and the full regulations regarding medical marijuana and hemp in Rhode Island, please see the RI Department of Business Regulation’s website here.

QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND’S MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Acute Pain (6-month limit)
  • Autism
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Seizures
  • Other conditions are subject to approval

     Other conditions are subject to approval

HOW TO BECOME A REGISTERED PATIENT
You must be a resident of Rhode Island. More detailed information, as well as all forms needed can be found on the state’s website at http://www.health.ri.gov/healthcare/medicalmarijuana

  1. Get a recommendation from a doctor. Some patients have been able to get this from their family physician, others have needed to pay out-of-pocket for an appointment at one of the many cannabis-friendly practices in R.I. and MA.
    It may help to bring your own copy of the required Practitioner Written Certification Form, included in the full application.
  2. Send in your form and application to the state, along with the $50 annual fee ($25 for qualifying low-income patients).
  3. In 6-8 weeks, you will receive your confirmation in the mail. Simply go to the Department of Health to get your picture taken and receive your final MMP card!

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS

Two and one-half ounces

HOME CULTIVATION

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

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.

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

R.I. law requires that all plant sets (one seedling and one mature plant) must be registered with the state and issued growing “tags” for $25 per set.

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES ALLOWED

Yes, no more than three. Note: As of July, 2018, R.I. Dispensaries DO accept out-of-state Medical

Marijuana cards, but it is against the law to cross state lines with your purchase.

CAREGIVERS

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.

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATIENTS

        As of March 31, 2018, there were 18,728 active registered patients, 1,789 active registered caregivers and 577 active authorized purchasers. Source: 2018 MMP Report to the RI General Assembly

Marijuana IS NOT LEGAL in Rhode Island, but it has been decriminalized (like a traffic ticket).

Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is a civil violation, punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record.


Possession while driving will result in a driver’s license suspension for a period of 6 months.

Possession of 1 ounce to 1 kilogram is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a maximum of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

Possession with Intent to Distribute, Sale and Cultivation remain felonies.

Hashish & Concentrates

Hashish and concentrates fall under the definition of marijuana.

Paraphernalia

The manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession with the intent to sell or deliver, of paraphernalia is punishable by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) and up to two (2) years imprisonment.

THE FUTURE of Marijuana in R.I.

As of Dec. 10, 2018, members of the Rhode Island General Assembly announced they will be re-introducing a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2019 session.

Governor Gina Raimondo has proposed legalizing recreational marijuana (and putting several restrictions on the current medical program) in the proposed 2020 budget. Read more about it here.

the If you are a Rhode Island resident, PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REP, and tell them you support legalization for all!

If you are a Rhode Island resident, PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REP, and tell them you support legalization for all!