Rhode Island Lawmakers Schedule Marijuana Legalization Hearing For This Week As Leadership Warms To Reform

MJ moment

As top lawmakers in Rhode Island increasingly discuss the prospects of legalizing marijuana in 2021, a key Senate committee is now set to take up the issue during a hearing on Wednesday. The Senate Finance Committee announced that it will convene virtually to get testimony on aspects of a budget proposal from the governor, focusing “particularly” on a provision to legalize cannabis for adult use through a state-run model as well as two other unrelated policies. But while advocates are encouraged by the development, the hearing isn’t expected to translate into legislative action this year and will primarily inform the legislature’s approach in the next session. The more likely possibility is that lawmakers will work to enact the reform in 2021, after new leadership that has signaled interest in the issue is installed. Senate Finance Committee to meet virtually on Wednesday evening to hear budget articles on marijuana, insurance https://t.co/ES3YGQ9sqf — Rhode Island Senate (@RISenate) November 16, 2020 Interest in pursuing legalization seems amplified under incoming leaders, with several top legislators saying in recent days that they will be addressing the policy in the new year. Rep. Joseph Shekarchi (D), who was voted to serve as House speaker, said last week that the chamber is “very close” to having majority support for the policy change and that he’s “absolutely” open to the idea. But on the Gov. Gina Raimondo’s (D) proposal to establish a state-run cannabis system, which will be the subject of Wednesday’s hearing, he’s not so sure. “I looked at that very briefly a year ago when the budget came in, but then hit COVID so it really kind of fell by the wayside,” Shekarchi said. “I know that some people think it should be left to the current cultivators, the current dispensaries. The governor feels maybe it…

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Source : Rhode Island Lawmakers Schedule Marijuana Legalization Hearing For This Week As Leadership Warms To Reform

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