Here at PufCreativ, we are just giddy about all the legalization news that has been coming out of various states within the past few years — for many reasons.
From finally allowing easy access to natural self-care, to improving social equity, there are countless reasons to be thrilled about the sweeping legalization that is taking place across this great nation.
Just this last month, the state of Rhode Island became the 19th state to enact legislation that legalizes and safely regulates adult-use recreational marijuana. It’s certainly a reason to celebrate!
Excited to find out more? Follow along with this blog as we cover some basics of cannabis legalization in The Ocean State.
Rhode Island’s Mission: To Establish a Framework for Common Sense Adult-Use Regulation
First, let’s touch on some of the sentiment behind the legislation. Longtime advocates for marijuana legalization within the state of Rhode Island were understandably elated after news broke that Governor Dan McKee signed the Cannabis Act into law:
“The reality is that prohibition does not stop cannabis use. Since Rhode Islanders can already access cannabis just across the state border or on the illicit market, we experience all the challenges without any of the safeguards or resources that our neighboring states have.
With this bill, we are ending prohibition in a way that is safe, keeps revenue in Rhode Island, and is as fair and equitable as we can possibly make it.
This bill has been years in the making, and is a collaborative effort to address concerns about protecting medical use, ensuring fair governance and recognizing that we cannot make this transition without taking action to make whole the communities and individuals who have been punished for decades under prohibition.”
— bill sponsor Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
“We are pleased that Governor McKee moved swiftly to sign this common-sense legislation into law.
The overwhelming support for this bill exhibited by lawmakers and the expeditious nature with which it was signed into law is indicative of the strong level of public support that exists in favor of legalization not only in Rhode Island, but also nationwide.
This new law will work to rectify past wrongs while also moving Rhode Island forward toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”
— NORML’s State Policy Manager Jax James
Throughout the United States and worldwide, municipalities are awakening to the amazing possibilities of legal marijuana. We love the fact that this miracle plant is finally being recognized, respected, and that its stigma is being reduced.
As each new state moves to legalize and awareness grows — more and more people are gaining access to natural wellness, which is really exciting.
The Specifics of Adult-Use Cannabis in RI:
Secondly, as more and more individual states legalize, it is important to stay on top of all of the various guidelines.
Whether you are a resident or just visiting, being up-to-date on the specifics will go a long way to avoid any potential confusion.
Here is what we know so far regarding how Rhode Island plans to begin its legalization journey:
- Possession is now legal for adults aged 21+ (up to one ounce in public or up to 10 ounces at home)
- Home cultivation of cannabis is also now legal for adults aged 21+ (up to six plants, no more than three mature)
- in-store sales may begin on December 1
- There will be a 20% total tax rate (7% sales tax, a new 10% percent cannabis tax, and a 3% percent tax by municipality).
- The law sets up a framework for common-sense adult use cannabis regulation (with an emphasis on public health and public safety).
What about Social Equity for Disproportionately Impacted Areas?
Furthermore, it is absolutely crucial to consider social equity when assessing the particular guidelines of a newly-legal state. With that said, every state is different, so paying attention to the details is also really important.
As mentioned in the Governor’s press release, Rhode Island plans “numerous investments in the creation of an equitable, accessible cannabis retail market through the set-aside of certain application fee revenues and the reservation of a portion of new licenses for social equity applicants and worker-owned cooperatives.”
The matter of expungement has also been addressed. The new guidelines provide for the automatic review/expungement of past criminal records (records must be vacated by July 1, 2024).
Rhode Island Finally Joins the Canna-Club!
With nearby states (CT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, VT) all recently legalizing within the past decade, it certainly makes sense from many different viewpoints to have Rhode Island join the canna-movement.
“Rhode Island now joins the growing list of states that have prioritized common sense and justice over the status quo of a failed and nonsensical prohibition.
The approval of legalization in Rhode Island is just the latest sign that the overwhelming majority of Americans want marijuana to be legalized and that their lawmakers are becoming more responsive to this growing public sentiment.”
— NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri
We are excited for the future of legal cannabis within the state, and are hopeful that the social equity initiatives continue to be at the forefront of policy, working to help communities disproportionately impacted by the abject failure of the War on Drugs.
PufCreativ: Expertly Guiding Your Legal Cannabis Journey
Finally, from providing safe access to natural alternatives, to forcing social change through tax revenue allocation and social equity, there are countless ways in which legal cannabis is improving the world.
We currently have many clients spread all across this amazing nation. What’s more, with 5+ years of experience navigating this precarious industry, we certainly know what it takes to succeed in achieving your cannabis marketing goals.
Our expert team has extensive knowledge regarding each niche within the cannabis industry. We specialize in making your website more searchable and higher ranked, all while ensuring a quality user interface and experience.
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