Rhode Island governor to renew push for adult-use cannabis legalization

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo will continue trying to legalize adult-use marijuana in the state.

She sees legal recreational sales as a possible revenue generator, she told Cranston TV station WJAR on Friday morning.

“I was in favor of it last year, so I’m continuing to be in favor of it,” Raimondo said during a teaser interview.

“I’m going to put it back again.”

WJAR plans to air its full interview with Raimondo this weekend.

The Democratic governor floated the idea of adult-use legalization in late 2018, arguing that the state is losing business opportunities and revenue to neighboring states such as Massachusetts.

Raimondo included tax revenue from adult-use legalization in her budget earlier this year.

She likely will face opposition, however, because key Senate leaders said in December they would oppose legal rec sales.

Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, the state only has three licensed dispensaries.

But regulators started taking applications for six new dispensary licenses earlier this month.

Existing medical marijuana sales in the state could be worth between $60 million and $75 million this year, according to the new Marijuana Business Factbook.