Rhode Island could see recreational marijuana

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The state’s governor is contemplating advancing marijuana legislation

Rhode Island could soon become the 11th state in the U.S. to allow recreational marijuana use. Governor Gina Raimondo has announced that she is prepared to move forward on the subject and that she will formally propose in her new budget this week that marijuana prohibition come to an end.

According to Raimondo, in an interview with the Providence Journal, “Things have changed, mainly because all of our neighbors are moving forward. We’re not an island, in fact. Like it or not, we’re going to be incurring public safety and public health expenses because it’s legal in Massachusetts… And I think it is time for us to put together our own regulatory and taxing framework.”

Where Raimondo could draw the line, however, is with home cultivation. She is reportedly going to prohibit certain products that contain a high potency and could only allow edibles that contain less than 5mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Rhode Island’s top medical cannabis regulator, Norman Birenbaum, adds, “We have seen the pitfalls of home cultivation in other states when it comes to how it threatens public health and public safety,” Norman Birenbaum, the state’s top medical cannabis regulator and a key Raimondo advisor on the broader legalization plan, told the Journal. “How it promotes the illicit market. How it undercuts the regulated market, how it puts unsafe and untested and unregulated product out there for people. And how it also serves as cover for states that supposedly have adult use to be export states and export to the rest of the country. And we don’t think that we should have that mechanism here.”

Out of the 10 states that now allow recreational marijuana, only Washington State bans home cultivation by recreational consumers.