Rhode Island

1 December, 2019

Status: Medical Use


2006: Medical cannabis was legalised
2009: Dispensary system for medical cannabis implemented and sales begin

Policy Framework:

  • Patients must have a qualifying condition, of which there are 14 listed;
  • Patients may possess no more than 2.5oz (70g);
  • Patients can cultivate up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings in their homes;
  • No more than nine state-licensed dispensaries are allowed to operate in Rhode Island at a time;
  • There are an estimated 18,728 registered medical cannabis patients in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health;
  • Possession of less than 1oz (30g) of cannabis for personal recreational use is decriminalised to a civil infraction (like a speeding ticket) punishable by a $US150 fine;
  • Possession of less than a kg of cannabis is a misdemeanour punishable by a year in prison and fines of up to $US500;
  • Possession with intent to distribute is a  felony punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $US500,000;
  • Cultivation or sale is a felony punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $US500,000.


  • Between 2005 and 2017, cannabis use disorder in people over the age of 12 decreased from 2.6% to 2.5%;
  • In 2018, sales of medical marijuana reached $US60.2 million.

Rhode Island3

Source: https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/explorer/state/rhode-island/crime

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