Learn more about marijuana in Rhode Island
Is Marijuana Legal in Rhode Island?▼
Marijuana use is legal in Rhode Island under specific circumstances for certain individuals.
When Did Marijuana Become Legal in Rhode Island?▼
In 2006, Rhode Island adopted and implemented rules allowing marijuana to be used under limited circumstances. The passage of “The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act” made medical marijuana legal in Rhode Island.
Are They Medical or Recreational Dispensaries?▼
Neighboring Massachusetts, where marijuana has been legalized recreationally, is sure to put pressure on the state to adopt more reformative laws. Until then, only medical dispensaries exist in Rhode Island.
Where Are The Dispensaries in Rhode Island?▼
Rhode Island only allows three active dispensaries to operate at one time.
- Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, located in Providence, Rhode Island
- Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island
- Summit Medical Compassion Center, located in Warwick, Rhode Island
Where Can Marijuana Be Consumed in Rhode Island?▼
The laws permitting the use, cultivation, and sale of medical marijuana in Rhode Island restrict where marijuana may be smoked to private residences. Additionally, consumption of marijuana or marijuana-infused products in any form is not allowed in the following places:
- On a school bus
- On any form of public transportation
- On any school grounds or property
- In any correctional facility or detention center
- In any public place
- In any licensed drug facility in this state
No person is permitted to begin a task while under the influence marijuana which can endanger the safety and well-being of others or anyone else in a negligent way.
Due to decriminalization laws in Rhode Island, if caught publicly consuming marijuana a $150 fine rather than criminal penalties is issued - unless the person is caught on federal land. Criminal penalties still apply for repeat offenders.
How Do I Get a Job in the Rhode Island Marijuana Industry?▼
Adults age 21 and older, regardless of residency, are permitted to work in the Rhode Island medical marijuana industry. Those with a felony drug conviction will be immediately denied.
Be sure to speak with the dispensary you want to work at. Both you and the dispensary are required to submit an application on your behalf, including a $75 application fee ($150 total).
Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in Rhode Island?▼
Rhode Island protects medical marijuana cardholders from discrimination by schools, employers, and landlords. Being a medical cardholder is not a good enough reason to refuse someone a job or home.
However, a cardholder can be discharged from the job for being intoxicated at work, as employers are not required to accommodate on-the-job use of medical marijuana.
Is Delivery of Marijuana Legal in Rhode Island?▼
Delivery is legal from a dispensary to a registered cardholder . Additionally, a cardholder may assign a caregiver or authorized purchaser to make purchases on their behalf.
How Do I Pay for Marijuana in Rhode Island? ▼
Rhode Island has yet to find a way to separate Federal banking regulations from federally-illegal drug enterprise, where marijuana continues to exist. As a result, sales in Rhode Island dispensaries are usually limited to cash transactions.
Passing the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act in early 2006, Rhode Island joined over a dozen other states in approaching cannabis as an emerging possibility, rather than as a harmful narcotic. Over a decade has gone by and the medical marijuana industry continues to grow in cardholder volume.
The medical marijuana program is not the only reform effort Rhode Island has made in the last decade. The state moved to decriminalize marijuana during the spring of 2013. The law would remove the misdemeanor criminal charges associated with possession under certain amounts, complete with up to one year in jail, with a fine not exceeding $150.
As of August 2018, Rhode Island allows out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to purchase medical marijuana under the rules and guidelines of the state program.
Purchase and Possession Limits▼
Rhode Island allows cardholders to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. Compassion center locations are able to dispense up to 2.5 ounces every 15 days.
Any individual caught with one ounce of marijuana or less may be charged a fine of $150. Any individual caught possessing between one ounce and one kilogram (roughly 35 ounces) is subject to misdemeanor charges, including up to one year in jail and $500 in fines.
Growing Marijuana at Home▼
A cardholder or his or her registered caregiver (a cardholder may have up to two) may grow marijuana at home under certain limits. At any time, a cardholder or his or her caregiver may grow up to twelve mature, flowering plants and twelve seedlings. These plants must be grown in a secured and locked facility, where up to ten ounces of usable marijuana may be safely and legally stored.
All marijuana grown for an individual cardholder must be tagged and the tags must come from the Department of Business Regulation. The fee per tag set is $25, which includes one tag for a seedling and one for a mature plant.
If a person is not legally growing marijuana as a medical cardholder, Rhode Island still has mandatory minimum sentencing. Any person not registered as a cardholder, caregiver, or cultivation center employee, may be charged with a felony if caught growing at home - punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and as much as 30 years in prison.
Marijuana and Driving ▼
Driving While Intoxicated
Under no circumstance does the medical marijuana program allow a person to operate, navigate, or be in physical control of any type motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while intoxicated by marijuana.
Rhode Island has not set clear guidelines for what defines “intoxication”; however, any cardholder with a valid registration will not be considered under the influence just for having THC metabolites in their system.
Any person, cardholder or otherwise, caught operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana may be subject to imprisonment for up to one full year, a fine up to $300 dollars, and as much as 60 hours of community service just for the first offense.
Driving While in Possession of Marijuana
Rhode Island considers medical marijuana registrations from out-of-state guests valid, allowing visiting cardholders to consume and possess marijuana up to the possession limits allowed by Rhode Island.
If a person is pulled over in possession of marijuana and they are not a medical marijuana cardholder , caregiver, or authorized purchaser, and if the officer suspects intoxication while driving but cannot be determine if the person is intoxicated, the officer can ticket the person with a fine of $150. The officer may also suspend their driving privileges for up to six months, even on the first offense.
A cardholder transporting marijuana in an amount at or below the possession limits may do so as long as the package is labeled and in a secure place within the vehicle.