Revised RI budget hikes annual marijuana dispensary fee
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As Massachusetts makes moves to legalize recreational marijuana use, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has pitched adding 12 dispensaries as part of next year’s budget.
But on Friday, the $9.6 million revised budget that passed nixed Raimondo’s plan.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Rhode Island lacks a comprehensive plan for regulating marijuana.
But the Rhode Island Cannabis Association said the decision will cost the state jobs and money.
They say the demand on the three compassion centers in the state will be too high, and patients will be priced out of the market.
Also in the revised budget, the three compassion centers will now be charged a yearly $250,000 fee which is up from $5,000 they were paying before.
Despite this, the House did approve one of the governor’s proposals on medical marijuana, which allows Massachusetts and Connecticut card holders to purchase marijuana in Rhode Island.
The Cannabis Association says without more dispensaries in the state, it continues to add more stress on the current dispensaries.