Rhode Island budget to boost medical marijuana dispensary fee from $5K to $250K

The Rhode Island General Assembly has approved a state budget that includes a proposal to increase the fee medical marijuana dispensaries pay for licenses from $5,000 to $250,000.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says she will sign the budget Friday.

Previously, the governor had proposed a plan to open 12 more medical cannabis dispensaries in the state, but the state’s House Finance Committee nixed that idea.

The expansion had been pitched as a way to lower prices through competition, increase access to lab-tested MMJ and reduce black-market activity, according to the Providence Journal.

“The proposal would have created far too many (compassion) centers,” House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said, using the state’s name for MMJ dispensaries.

“I don’t know what the right number is, but the whole system needs a comprehensive review before taking any further action. I don’t want to make a decision that may have to be pulled back.”

The Rhode Island Cannabis Association suggested that if the state is unwilling to allow more dispensaries, demand on the three existing MMJ outlets would remain too high and patients could be priced out of the legal market, according to Providence TV station WPRI.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily

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7 comments on “Rhode Island budget to boost medical marijuana dispensary fee from $5K to $250K
  1. Norton from downstairs on

    If there’s a way to screw up a revenue producing marijuana market (both medicinal and recreational), it simply has to be left to ANY government body to find fast and easy ways to do it. The largest problem that seems to come up is typically an enormous number of bureaucrats who seem to feel it imperative that they justify their existence by screwing with something that probably wasn’t all that broken in the first place.

    It is absolutely incomprehensible to me why states like Massachusetts, Vermont and now, Rhode Island just don’t look at Colorado. While Colorado has admittedly had some bumps along the way with both medicinal and recreational rollouts, for the most part, the state has been pretty conscientious with its laws governing use, possession, etc., applying state laws much the same as have been to use of alcohol.

    Now, with yet another election cycle approaching, the politicians are at it again because marijuana is a “hot-button” topic. Enough already! If you REALLY NEED to screw with something…try speeding up the security lines at the airport.

  2. Mike on

    “The proposal would have created far too many (compassion) centers,”
    So they increase the licensing fee by 5000%. Are they representing the peoples will? Is Rhode Island a “big pharma” corporate state?

  3. M on

    Someone outside the state needs to regulate pricing. The 3 dispensaries here now do not care if a patient can’t afford their script. The dr orders go out the window when you hit their door. One of the first to get up and going and one of the first to get takin over. The prices are already getting very questionable. A dose of medication should not be 15 dollars.

  4. Fed Upwith TheBS on

    Hate the greed of these clueless politicians and the companies pulling strings to gain a monopoly on what they see as a cash cow but should be a affordable medicine. To assume that raising a licensing fee will decrease the black market is completely backwards. Competition lowers price. If the license becomes unaffordable for the smaller grower then the only producers will be big business owners.

  5. Gary Arnold on

    RI aka Tax Island, General ASSembly (GA) is in the pockets of their buddies in the compassion centers.
    There are or were about 30+ certified cultivators that invested MILLIONs of $ in preparation to the roll out of MMJ then rec. cannabis. Licenses were promoted by the state and regulations for testing, security and growing procedures were mandated, all abided to by the certified cultivators. Last months budget killed off many if not most certified cultivators when the GA did not expand compassion centers (CC). The CC are on record of offering $5 million in fees to not expand the outlets, they won and the state took another step into the swamp of Tax Island corruption.

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