Rhode Island Lawmakers Unveil Revised Marijuana Legalization Bill, With Committee Votes Set For This Week

Rhode Island Lawmakers Unveil Revised Marijuana Legalization Bill, With Committee Votes Set For This Week
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Rhode Island lawmakers have unveiled a newly revised marijuana legalization proposal that’s scheduled to be taken up in two committees this week and then head to the floors of both chambers next week. The legislation is the product of months of negotiations between legislators and the governor, who released his own legalization measure as part of a budget proposal in January. Now the identical companion bills, which are being sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller (D) and Rep. Scott Slater (D), are ready for action. Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Finance Committee are expected to vote on the measures on Wednesday. Assuming they advance through those panels, floor votes are set for May 24. “I’m proud that everyone involved—the advocates, the existing industry, patients, legislative leaders and the governor’s office—worked very cooperatively to smooth out the bumps and create a proposal that works for all the stakeholders,” Miller said in a press release. “We all wanted to do this in a way that is safe, keeps revenue in Rhode Island, and is as fair and equitable as we can possibly make it.” “The amended bill is a collaborative effort to address concerns about protecting medical use, ensuring fair governance and recognizing that we cannot make this transition without taking action to make whole the communities and individuals who have been punished for decades under prohibition,” he said. .@SenatorMillerRI, Rep. Slater unveil amended bill for cannabis legalization: https://t.co/KlAXpQDsd5 pic.twitter.com/wB7i8Tmau9 — Rhode Island Senate (@RISenate) May 17, 2022 While the basic provisions of the new substitute amendment are consistent with the bill as introduced and considered during earlier committee hearings in March, lawmakers incorporated feedback and made key revisions in an effort to get closer to consensus. For example, the legislation was revised to streamline the recreational licensing process for existing…

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