Rhode Island governor may renew bid to add MMJ dispensaries

While saying she’s “not in a rush” to see Rhode Island legalize recreational marijuana, Gov. Gina Raimondo may again seek an expansion of medical cannabis businesses in the state.

A more pressing need to Raimondo is giving medical marijuana patients “access to the medicine that they need,” the Journal reported, and she’s contemplating asking the legislature in 2018 to increase Rhode Island’s MMJ dispensaries, which currently number three.

The governor did just that in 2017 when she pushed a proposal that would have effectively tripled the number of dispensaries by licensing three more MMJ companies and allowing the existing three businesses to each open one more retail location.

It’s not out of the question that Raimondo would “support some version of this again when the legislature reopens,” the Journal reported. The state’s three existing dispensary operators have opposed the move.

The Democratic governor told the Providence Journal she’s “not opposed on some principle” to adult-use cannabis and believes the state will “probably get there. It seems to be the way the country is going.”

But, Raimondo told the newspaper, “I am not in a rush. … (Adult use) needs to be studied.”

To that end, the Rhode Island Legislature formed a 19-person commission in June to study the recreational cannabis issue.