On Jan. 11, 2017, Rhode Island state Sen. Joshua Miller and state Rep. Scott Slater announced in a press conference that they intend to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
Joined by members of the Regulate Rhode Island coalition, Miller and Slater implored fellow lawmakers to pass the bill to help prevent diversion from other states that have legalized marijuana.
“Our constituents think it is time for lawmakers to pass this legislation, and we should listen to them,” Miller said. “If we fail to pass the bill this year, we will lose significant ground to Massachusetts and Rhode Islanders will simply be able to cross the border to purchase marijuana there.”
Known as The Cannabis Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, the bill would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults aged 21 years or older. Individuals would be able to cultivate up to one mature marijuana plant, so long as it is in a locked and enclosed area.
The bill would also create the Office of Cannabis Coordination, which would coordinate with other state agencies to devise rules and regulations for licensing facilities in the supply chain. Marijuana sales would be taxed at 23%, in addition to the 7% state sales tax.