Rhode Island Cannabis Attorneys

Like multiple other states around the U.S., Rhode Island is set to allow both recreational and medical use of cannabis, opening up lucrative opportunities for business owners.

With the industry set to thrive here in the coming years, the business opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs are clear. However, adult-use cannabis is certain to be a tightly regulated industry, creating some challenges for business owners looking to take advantage of the law changes and set up in the state.

To enter the cannabis industry here, you must be prepared to apply for a cannabis business license and abide by the maze of local and state regulations. Violations can lead to administrative penalties or even criminal investigations.

The Rhode Island cannabis attorneys at Cannabis Law Solutions have followed the evolution of legalization here closely and have a comprehensive understanding of the various laws. We can help you capitalize on the opportunities for growers/producers, manufacturers, retailers, and other sectors of the industry as they develop.

Regulating Cannabis in Rhode Island

When the Rhode Island governor signed legislation in May 2022, it made the state the 19th in the nation to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis.

The Rhode Island Cannabis Act took many years to formulate but now legalizes and regulates recreational adult-use cannabis in the state, with a strong emphasis on public health and public safety.

The Act sets out the guidelines for the industry, aiming to make it equitable, controlled, and safe. It also includes a provision for the automatic expungement of prior civil or criminal cannabis possession charges by July 2024.

Individuals aged 21 or older can now possess and grow cannabis. Adults can sell and possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of cannabis with no more than 10 ounces (283 grams) for personal use kept at home. Residents can also grow a small amount at home. In-store sales will be legal by the end of 2022 in Rhode Island.

The Act also makes provisions for an equitable, accessible cannabis retail market by setting aside a proportion of application fee/new license revenues for social equity applicants and worker-owned cooperatives.

Current fees charged to patients and caregivers for registration in the state’s medical cannabis program will also be eliminated under the new legislation.

Overseeing the rollout of these new cannabis regulations and the cannabis industry as a whole in Rhode Island will be a three-member Cannabis Control Commission. This will be appointed by the governor with input from the House speaker and approval from the Senate.

How many cannabis retailers will be allowed in Rhode Island?

Under the Rhode Island Cannabis Act, 33 cannabis retailers will initially be allowed in Rhode Island.

The tax rate for cannabis businesses has been set at 20 percent, with the following breakdown:

  • 7 percent sales tax
  • 10 percent state cannabis tax, and
  • 3 percent tax by the municipality where the marijuana is sold

Timeline for Rhode Island cannabis business licensing

With adult-use sales scheduled to start in December 2022, there’s no time to lose with your cannabis business license application if you want to be part of this exciting industry.

Medical cannabis cultivators will be able to start even earlier, with the cultivation and manufacture of adult-use cannabis legal from August 1, 2022.

Medical cannabis dispensaries (“compassion centers”) in Rhode Island will have the option to convert to a hybrid license and begin adult-use sales in December.

Only a limited number of licenses are available during the initial roll-out. The earlier you apply, the more chance you will have of securing one of them.

Types of Rhode Island cannabis business licenses

Rhode Island will initially issue five types of adult-use cannabis business licenses, as follows:

  • Cultivator
  • Product manufacturer (or Processor)
  • Hybrid retailer (medical and adult-use cannabis)
  • Retailer
  • Testing laboratory

This licensing system is simpler than in many other states. Note that each license permits only certain types of business activities in the cannabis sector so speak to one of our Rhode Island cannabis attorneys before getting started on your application.

What’s needed to apply for a cannabis business license in Rhode Island?

The eligibility requirements to apply for a cannabis business license in Rhode Island are as follows:

  • All owners must be over the age of 21
  • All owners must be free of disqualifying convictions
  • The business entity must comply with all tax obligations

Rhode Island residency is not currently stipulated as a requirement for eligibility.

The final application instructions are still to be determined but the Rhode Island Cannabis Act makes it clear that to obtain a cannabis business license, you will need to submit at least the following documentation as part of your application:

  • Your operating plan
  • An inventory tracking plan
  • A financial plan
  • Local municipal approval

The exact documentation can be discussed with one of our Rhode Island cannabis attorneys…

Cannabis business legal planning, advice, and support in Rhode Island

Whether you want to grow, manufacture, or retail cannabis in Rhode Island, getting set up without the right legal advice is asking for trouble.

The eyes of the entire state are on you as the cannabis industry evolves here so it’s important to do everything by the book or the legal hurdles could be substantial.

Our Rhode Island cannabis attorneys can provide the knowledge and support you need to plan, incorporate, protect, and grow a successful cannabis business.

For informed legal advice, call 866-329-0729 for a consultation with a knowledgeable cannabis attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions.

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How will our cannabis services help you?

Cannabis business entity formation

Whether you are looking to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, our experienced business lawyers can discuss the pros and cons of both and help you incorporate your business with the optimal structure to achieve your goals.

Cannabis business licenses

If you want to run a cannabis business, you will need a valid business license issued by your state authority as well as local permits. Eligibility criteria are likely to be stringent and we can help you navigate the often-complex license application process.

Cannabis corporate documentation

Whether you need to prepare for a license application, transfer of business ownership, change of corporate structure, transfer business location, or another business process, we can help you identify and draft the documentation you need to operate legally in your state.

Cannabis administrative law

State authorities watch licensed and unlicensed cannabis businesses closely. If you violate regulations, you could face an administrative penalty. Our attorneys can provide representation or help you prepare for an administrative hearing, settlement conference or appeal.

Cannabis disputes and litigation

Whether you have a dispute with another business, a legal issue with one of your partners or a licensing or administrative issue, you may need legal assistance to help resolve it. We are adept at alternative dispute resolution methods as well as civil litigation.

Regulatory compliance

As the cannabis industry emerges in states around the U.S., it is more heavily regulated than most other industries. We can help your business navigate the red tape and plan to stay on the right side of the regulatory authorities in whichever state you are based.