Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Card
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Medical marijuana in Rhode Island: what do you need to know? We can tell you that both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are legal, but that’s not where the information ends. To make the best of the state’s medical marijuana program, you need to know how to get a medical marijuanas card in RI.
Also, you need to know the regulations that guide marijuana use in Rhode Island, so you don’t break the law.
If that sounds like a lot, not to worry. We’ve made it easy for you to understand in this piece.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Rhode Island?
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Rhode Island.
In 2006, Rhode Island became the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana. The Rhode Island legislature overruled Governor Donald Carcieri’s veto when it passed the Edward O Hawkins and Thomas C Slater Medical Marijuana Act.
According to the terms of the act, Rhode Island residents who suffer from a debilitating medical condition can use medical marijuana if they get a written physician’s certification stating that they may benefit from marijuana treatment and that the benefits of using marijuana outweigh the risks.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, there were 19,463 registered patients as of June 2021.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Rhode Island?
Yes, recreational marijuana is also legal in Rhode Island. The Ocean state joined 19 other states and DC that had legalized recreational marijuana when Governor Don McKee signed The Rhode Island Cannabis Act on May 25, 2022.
While talking about weed legalization in RI, Governor McKee said: “This bill successfully incorporates our priorities of making sure cannabis legalization is equitable, controlled, and safe.”
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Joshua Miller, noted that cannabis legalization is safer than prohibition. He said that prohibition does not stop cannabis use.
Since Rhode Islanders can access cannabis on the unregulated black market or across the border where recreational marijuana is legal in neighboring states, it is better to create a safe and regulated environment for Rhode Islanders to enjoy recreational cannabis and keep the revenue in the state.
Licensed cannabis retailers will open their stores to customers in December 2022, and adults aged 21 and older can buy up to 1 ounce of Rhode Island recreational marijuana.
The law permits adults to possess up to 1 ounce, own up to 10 ounces of recreational marijuana in their homes, and grow up to three mature plants.
Legalization Ushers in Social Justice
The law also includes automatic expungement of former civil or criminal marijuana possession charges. Courts have until July 1, 2024, to comply, while those who want the state to expunge their records sooner can request it.
Senate majority leader Michael J McCaffery said: “Ending cannabis prohibition helps us right past wrongs while creating new opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. This is the right move, at the right time, for our state.”
House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi echoed the theme of social justice and equity included in the law. He said ‘We are proud that this legislation prioritizes the participation of people most impacted by the past enforcement of cannabis laws both through automatic expungement and the creation of a licensing structure based on social equity.”
Rhode Island Marijuana Laws
Regulations guide the use of marijuana in Rhode Island, and if you’re not aware of them, you risk breaking the law. The state even regulates medical marijuana.
Possession Limits in Rhode Island
For recreational marijuana, adults aged 21 and over can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person and own a maximum of 10 ounces in their residence. In contrast, medical marijuana patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces.
Where is it Safe to Consume Marijuana in Rhode Island?
Your home is the best place to safely consume cannabis because the state prohibits marijuana consumption in public spaces and on federal property. Also, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana Cultivation in Rhode Island
Rhode Island allows medical marijuana patients and recreational users to grow marijuana. Patients can grow 12 mature plants and 12 immature plants. However, each plant must be tagged; you can purchase tags from the state. In addition, patients must register their cultivation location with the Department of Health.
Adult users can grow three mature plants and three immature plants. The state is yet to set out requirements and regulations for recreational cultivation, but generally, cultivation must take place in a secure space away from public view.
How to Get a Medical Marijuanas Card in Rhode Island
Intending patients who want to register in the medical marijuana program must first get a Rhode Island medical marijuanas card. But…
Before you submit an RI medical marijuanas application, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- You must be a Rhode Island resident with proof of residency.
- Acceptable means of identification include a copy of a RI Driver’s License, RI State ID, vehicle registration, voters registration, correspondence from another state agency with a current date, or a current car insurance bill.
- You must be at least 18 years old. Patients younger than 18 can apply via a legal guardian.
- Get a signed written certification from a licensed practitioner.
- A completed and signed Patient Form.
- Your application fee
Step 1: Schedule a meeting with a licensed physician; the doctor will discuss your condition and determine whether you will benefit from medical marijuana treatment. If the doctor approves, they will write a certification letter.
Step 2: Download and complete the Patient Application Form and attach all necessary documents. The Rhode Island Department of Health insists that patients submit forms by mail because fax and email submissions are not allowed—the mail address is on the form.
You may be eligible for an application fee discount if you have any of the following:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
- Veteran’s Disability
- Federal Railroad Disability Benefit
Step 3: Wait for the result of your application process; most applicants get a response within 14 days. If your application is incomplete, the DOH will mail it back to you.
However, if your application is approved, the DOH will contact you and ask you to come in so that they can take your photograph for your ID card. After getting your card, you can visit a licensed dispensary and purchase medical marijuana.
Why Should I Get a Medical Marijuanas Card in RI?
Since recreational marijuana is legal, why do you still need a medical marijuana card? To put it simply, a medical marijuanas card in RI protects you.
According to the law, cardholders can’t face discrimination for using medical marijuana. Also, employers, schools, and landlords can’t discriminate against cardholders.
Medical marijuana cardholders have a higher possession limit; they can possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana, while recreational consumers can possess only 1 ounce.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in RI
Before you apply for a medical marijuanas card in RI, you must have one of the following conditions:
- Cancer or the treatment of this condition
- Glaucoma or the treatment of this condition
- Hepatitis C or the treatment of this condition
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe, debilitating, chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristics of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristics of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease
- Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease
Suppose you want a medical condition to be added to the list. In that case, you can submit a written petition to the Department of Health stating why they should add the condition, scientific proof that supports the addition of the condition to the list, and letters of support from licensed healthcare professionals about the condition.
Medical Marijuanas Dispensary in RI
Dispensaries in Rhode Island are referred to in state law as compassion centers.The Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Act states that dispensaries can “acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense medical marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers or authorized purchasers, or out-of-state patient cardholders or other marijuana establishment licenses.”
Like every other state where marijuana is legal, RI dispensaries have to adhere to rules. These rules are:
- The location should not be within 1000 feet of a school
- Employee records must be kept and updated with the Department of Health
- They must be located in a secure facility to prevent theft or unauthorized entrance
- Only people who have a valid medical marijuanas card can patronize licensed dispensaries
- All principal officers and board members must be Rhode Island residents
- Dispensaries must sell no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana to any patient within 15 days
There are three medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island. You can find their addresses and contact information here.
Rhode Island Marijuana Reciprocity
Out-of-state patients with a valid MMJ card from another state can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana from Rhode Island dispensaries.
Only the Best With Elevate Holistics
We’ve told you everything you need to know about Rhode Island marijuana legalization and Rhode Island marijuana laws, and there’s much more we could do for you. We understand how confusing marijuana legalization can sometimes be and how information can be a barrier to access.
Elevate Holistics takes your concerns seriously. That’s why we designed our services to make marijuana access as easy as possible for patients and adult-use consumers. We can help you get an RI MMJ card, find medical marijuanas doctors in RI and locate RI medical marijuana dispensaries.
Do you have any questions or inquiries? Please feel free to contact us.