Rhode Island Ushers in a New Era for Medical Weed Patient with Digital Applications
Home BlogCannabisRhode Island Ushers in a New Era for Medical Weed Patient with Digital Applications
no image

Rhode Island Ushers in a New Era for Medical Weed Patient with Digital Applications

The Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal went live on June 1, which covers the basic foundation for new and existing patients. The Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal was launched on June 1 and covers the basics for both new and existing patients. “The new system – known as the Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal – allows existing card holders to renew registrations, update their personal information, and make any necessary changes to their registration cards,” states the press release. The Cannabis Licensing Portal will also be used by new patients who wish to apply for a medical marijuana card. The announcement stated that “RIDOH will cease mailing registration reminders and renewing forms in the next few months.” It is important that patients register in the portal so they receive important messages and updates, including renewal reminders, 60 days before their expiration date. According to Americans for Safe Access, Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program was implemented in 2006. Patients were allowed to grow up to 12 plants in their homes, possess up to 2.5 ounces and appoint up to two caregivers. Only eight medical conditions were eligible for medical cannabis. For almost seven years, the state failed to establish a foundation that would allow medical dispensaries to be accessible. In 2011, former Gov. Lincoln Chafee temporarily suspended the licensing of compassion centers. However, licensing was resumed in 2012. By 2013, compassion centers had begun to open. State officials then expanded the list of qualifying criteria and began slowly implementing new rules. The state’s recreational marijuana sales began in December 2022, much more recently. In the first week of sales, only five retailers were operating. The industry made $1.6 million. The total is divided into recreational sales ($786,000), and medical cannabis ($845,400). In February and March, the total sales of $8.7 million were split between medical cannabis sales ($3.3 million) and recreational cannabis sales ($5.3 million). The medical cannabis patient count was 15,062 in December 2022 but has decreased slightly since recreational cannabis legalization. In January 2023 there were 14,590 patients registered, then a slight increase to 14,673 in Febuary, and a decrease down to 13,691 by March. Dan McKee, the governor of Rhode Island who signed the recreational marijuana bill in May of that year, praised the potential for Rhode Island’s expansion to recreational cannabis. McKee said that the bill “successfully incorporates our priorities to ensure cannabis legalization is fair, controlled, and secure.” “It also creates a procedure for the automatic expungement past cannabis convictions.” The Assembly has recognized the importance of the issue. My Administration’s initial legalization plan included a similar provision. The end result is both socially and financially a win for our State. Ahern stated that the first six months of adult use have shown our state’s success at carefully expanding into this industry. “I look forward working with my Commissioners in the future to regulate cannabis in a way that is safe, fair and transparent.”


Sign up for Newsletter

Sign up to get our latest exclusive updates, deals, offers and promotions.