Rhode Island Lawmakers Debate Regulatory Body for Adult-Use Cannabis
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Rhode Island Lawmakers Debate Regulatory Body for Adult-Use Cannabis

The state Legislature is reaching an agreement on an adult-use legalization proposal.

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October 21, 2021

As Rhode Island lawmakers get closer to reaching an agreement on an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal, the conversation is turning toward what kind of regulatory body will oversee the marketplace, according to a local WPRI report.

State Sen. Josh Miller, who sponsored an adult-use cannabis bill that cleared the Rhode Island Senate in June, told the news outlet that lawmakers are debating whether to establish a new cannabis commission to regulate the adult-use market, or whether the adult-use industry should fall under the authority of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, which oversees the state’s medical cannabis program.

Lawmakers have already reached agreements on other provisions in the legislation, WPRI reported, such as licensing 30-40 adult-use cannabis dispensaries instead of the 150 retailers outlined in Miller’s original bill.

Miller told the news outlet that lawmakers have also agreed on expungement provisions, as well as a social equity component to the business licensing process.

The Rhode Island Legislature and governor’s office have been working on the adult-use cannabis legalization proposal for months, according to WPRI, after Miller's legislation stalled at the end of last year’s legislative session.

State leaders have said that there could be a special session this fall to consider cannabis legalization if a deal is reached on the legislation, and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio told WPRI last month that lawmakers were “very close” to an agreement.