Rhode Island Senate Leaders Unveil Marijuana Legalization Bill As Governor Prepares Competing Plan

MJ moment

The governor of Rhode Island and legislative leaders in the Senate want to legalize marijuana in the state this year. But they’re putting forward diverging plans this week on how best to accomplish that. Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (D) and Health & Human Services Chairman Joshua Miller (D) held a press conference on Tuesday to go over the legislation they are filing on Thursday, which is the product of months of collaboration at the behest of Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D). The bill would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. They could also cultivate up to six plants for personal use. A Cannabis Control Commission would be established to regulate the market and issue business licenses. Marijuana would be subject to the state’s seven percent sales tax, in addition to a 10 percent special tax and a three percent local tax for jurisdictions that allow cannabis firms to operate in their area. During the press conference, Miller repeatedly referenced Massachusetts marijuana regulations and said their bill contains a number of comparable provisions. Both he and McCaffrey also stressed that they feel the legislation takes an “entrepreneurial” approach to the policy change. At the same time, newly inaugurated Gov. Dan McKee (D) is planning to announced his own plan this week to legalize cannabis for adult use as part of his budget request, The Providence Journal reported on Monday. Though the reform proposals are fundamentally aligned on the question of whether to enact legalization, there are some components that are expected to be different. McCaffrey said, however, that he’s looking forward to working with the governor as the legislation advances. Few details are available with respect to the McKee’s forthcoming plan, but one area where the bills are likely to differ…

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Source : Rhode Island Senate Leaders Unveil Marijuana Legalization Bill As Governor Prepares Competing Plan

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