RI municipalities begin scheduling votes on legal adult-use marijuana businesses

The first vote among Rhode Island cities and towns on whether to allow adult-use marijuana companies within their borders has been scheduled for the general election ballot this November.

According to The Boston Globe, the Providence suburb of Barrington has become the first municipality to formally put a question on the November ballot for its citizens to decide whether to allow adult-use marijuana sales or cultivation.

The Rhode Island secretary of state’s office is expecting “many, many more” localities to put similar ballot questions to voters since the recreational cannabis legalization law signed in May allows  local governments to prohibit adult-use cannabis companies as long as they ask voters first.

There are only 39 incorporated municipal governments in the state, and 24 adult-use retail licenses have been authorized under state law.

That’s in addition to the existing nine dispensaries and more than 60 MMJ growers.

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Barrington is one of 10 cities that has indicated before an Aug. 1 deadline that it will hold a vote on adult-use companies.

The others are Hopkinton, Jamestown, Narragansett, New Shoreham (Block Island), North Kingstown, Richmond, Smithfield, Warren and Westerly, according to the Globe.

But Barrington is the first to schedule a vote.

The Barrington ballot question asks voters if they want to allow recreational cannabis retail, cultivation, manufacturing and lab testing businesses.