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Rhode Island Marijuana Laws

Eligible patients with a physician's approval may possess up to 2.5 oz. of usable marijuana or up to 12 plants (indoor cultivation only).

Rhode Island has both decriminalized marijuana and legalized access to the herb for medical purposes. Possession of less than 1 oz. is a civil offense (like a parking ticket) with a fine of up to $150, but a conviction for the sale or cultivation of more than 5 kg. can result in a term of life in prison.

Senate Bill 0710 -- Approved by state House and Senate, vetoed by the Governor. Veto was over-ridden by House and Senate.

Timeline:

  1. June 24, 2005: passed the House 52 to 10

  2. June 28, 2005: passed the State Senate 33 to 1

  3. June 29, 2005: Gov. Carcieri vetoed the bill

  4. June 30, 2005: Senate overrode the veto 28-6

  5. Jan. 3, 2006: House overrode the veto 59-13 to pass the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (48 KB) (Public Laws 05-442 and 05-443)

  6. June 21, 2007: Amended by Senate Bill 791 (30 KB) Effective: Jan. 3, 2006

Possession/Cultivation: Limits the amount of marijuana that can be possessed and grown to up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of cultivated marijuana. Primary caregivers may not possess an amount of marijuana in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana for qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the Department's registration process.

Amended: H5359 (70 KB) - The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (substituted for the original bill)

Timeline:

  1. May 20, 2009: passed the House 63-5

  2. June 6, 2009: passed the State Senate 31-2

  3. June 12, 2009: Gov. Carcieri vetoed the bill (60 KB)

  4. June 16, 2009: Senate overrode the veto 35-3

  5. June 16, 2009: House overrode the veto 67-0

    Effective June 16, 2009: Allows the creation of compassion centers, which may acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers. Rules & Regulations (60 KB) last updated Dec. 2012.

The first dispensary, the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, opened on Apr. 19, 2013. Compassion centers must be operated on a not-for-profit basis.

Rhode Island Department of Health
Office of Health Professions Regulation, Room 104
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097
Phone: 401-222-2828

mmp@health.ri.gov

Website:
RI Medical Marijuana Program
(MMP)

Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
The Department of Health had approved three compassion centers to be licensed. but only two were operational as of Apr. 24, 2014.

Patient Registry Fee:
$75/$10 for applicants on Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
Yes, but only for the conditions approved in Rhode Island

Registration:
Mandatory

Code Section 21-28-1.01, et seq.
Possession Less than 1 oz.: civil offense (max. $150 fine); more than 1 oz. but less than 1 kg.: misdemeanor (up to 1 yr., max. $500 fine); more than 1 kg. is considered intent to sell.
Sale or Cultivation Less than 1 kg.: felony (up to 30 yrs., max. $100,000 fine); 1-5 kg.: 10-50 yrs. and/or $10,000-$500,000 (mandatory minimum 10 yr. sentence); more than 5 kg.: 20 yrs. to life and $25,000 to $1,000,000 (mandatory minimum 20 yr. sentence); Sale within 300 yds. of school: double penalties; Sale to minor or person 3 yrs. junior: minimum 2-5 yrs. and $10,000
Trafficking -
Is Medical Marijuana Available? Yes. Eligible patients with a physician's approval may possess up to 2.5 oz. of usable marijuana or up to 12 plants (indoor cultivation only).



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