Rhode Island lawmakers seek to change medical cannabis rules

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Rhode Island legislative leaders said Wednesday they’re seeking to undo a change to how medical marijuana stores are regulated.

The action comes in response to a lawsuit by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.

A provision in the state budget approved in 2019 gave lawmakers the right to veto regulations imposed on the cannabis industry.

Raimondo sued, arguing the new law violates the state constitution’s separation of powers clause because it gives lawmakers “unchecked control” over executive rulemaking authority.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said they’re filing legislation to repeal the language that required lawmakers to approve rules and regulations relating to the expansion of licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.

They also took issue with how the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation proposed regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, with Mattiello calling it “blatant overreach by the executive branch.”

– Associated Press