RHODE ISLAND – On Tuesday, lawmakers in Rhode Island voted overwhelmingly in favor of setting up a system for the sale, taxation, and regulation of recreational cannabis. Today, Governor Dan McKee sighed the legislation into law.
According to a report by WJAR, people in the state over the age of 21 will now be able to keep less than 10 ounces of cannabis in their house, grow a small amount, and possess up to one ounce.
“The bill I sign today into law ensures that legalization is equitable, controlled and safe,” said McKee in a statement to the State House. “The bill also makes important investments in the creation of an equitable, accessible cannabis retail market by setting aside certain application fee revenues and reserving a portion of new licenses for social equity applicants and worker-owned cooperatives.”
Along with legalizing cannabis for adults over the age of 21, the bill will also expunge the records of those convicted of prior cannabis-related crimes up to the federal level. According to Rhode Island court records, some of those charges date back to the 1970s.
The bill received some backfire from Sid Wordell, Executive Director of the The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, citing the challenge in proving if someone is high while driving.
“We have drug recognition experts but the courts are not accepting of their testimony, and that’s something we have to work with the courts,” Wordell said.
Dispensaries are hoping to begin recreational sales by the end of this year.
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